Our seed round
Today, I’m excited to announce Mentava’s $3m seed funding to accelerate education. We've already begun teaching 2-year-olds to read.
The round was led by Quiet with support from Floodgate, Tim Ferriss, and more than 50 other amazing angels (like Eric Ries, Garry Tan, Ryan Petersen…)
Where we’re coming from
As the father of 4 kids age 6 & under, it wasn’t easy navigating a pandemic without childcare, schools, or playgrounds. But one unexpectedly bright point was seeing how much my kids loved learning new things - and how quickly they could master them if just given the opportunity.
As adults, when we want to learn something new, we just go out and do it. No one tells us how fast we’re “allowed” to learn. Unsurprisingly, it turns out that kids can do the same when we just get out of their way.
Mentava enables (very) accelerated learning
Mentava is building software to support independent, accelerated K12 learning. We:
- Teach kids to teach themselves
- Provide software that lets them learn at their own, accelerated pace
- Show teachers the benefits of allowing independent study in their classes
In our pilot with 30 families, it took about 50 hours to get 2-year olds reading at a 2nd grade level. That’s about 30 mins a day(!) over 3 months(!) to cover what would take multiple years in school.
Once kids have learned to read, we graduate them into math and programming. Because they’re not dependent on a live teacher, they can continue learning at an accelerated pace.
Kids can learn really, REALLY fast
And if you think about what happens when you actually allow that learning to compound - a student who’s a year ahead after kindergarten will be 2 years ahead after 1st grade, 3 years ahead after 2nd grade, 4 years ahead after 3rd grade…
Our students are on track to complete AP calculus and AP computer science in elementary school.
We are on the cusp of an edtech renaissance. Five years ago, a friend joked that edtech was where startups go to die. Not anymore! We are at a cultural inflection point. Between parents’ disillusionment during the pandemic, outrage over gifted education cuts, the SF BoE recall - there’s an energy and excitement around education that wasn’t there before.
We raised some money from some awesome people
And it’s been gratifying to see that I’m not the only one who sees the opportunity. Our round was way oversubscribed, with fantastic VCs like Quiet and Floodgate plus over 50 amazing angels like Tim Ferriss, Eric Ries, Garry Tan, Ryan Petersen, Balaji Srinivasan, David Perell, Sheel Mohnot, Des Traynor, Austen Allred, Amjad Masad, Dylan Field, Mikhael Seregine, Jonathan Swanson, Julian Weisser, Joe Liemandt, David Petersen, Evan Van Ness, Eric Boduch, Harlan Crystal, Packy McCormick, Jiaona Zhang, Justin Mares, Nat Eliason, Keith Schacht, Turner Novak, and many more.
One thing that was very clear is that a lot of people deeply believe in our mission of accelerating education and want to see us succeed.
Education accelerates human achievement
Education creates pathways to success for kids of every socioeconomic class. When we encourage learning and achievement, we improve our society and our communities. Ultimately, to accelerate education is to accelerate human achievement
How many lives would be lost if the MRNA vaccine came a year later? How many lives will be saved if humanity can cure cancer 1 year sooner? It’s no exaggeration to say that millions of lives are at stake.
We have an audacious goal, passionate supporters, a cultural tailwind, and a clear path forward. This is the moment when everything changes. Join us.