Shaquille O’Neal Backs EdTech Startup Edsoma with Undisclosed Amount  

Image credit: Edsoma

NBA superstar and philanthropist Shaquille O’Neal is stepping into the world of education technology with a $2.5 million investment in Edsoma. This AI-driven platform is focused on enhancing children’s reading, communication, and educational skills. O’Neal hints that he was not merely a passive investor; he was inspired by Edsoma’s potential to change lives and actively promote the product.

Skeptic Turned to Believer  

Edsoma recently secured $2.5 million in seed funding, boasting a roster of over a dozen individual investors. This values the startup at $14 million post-funding. This investment round marks O’Neal’s first venture into edtech. However, the exact amount of his investment remains undisclosed.

O’Neal’s journey started with skepticism but that quickly changed after he witnessed the app’s effectiveness firsthand. Edsoma employs an AI reading assistant to aid learners in improving their reading and communication abilities. The app is readily available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. It offers a free version with limited features and a monthly subscription priced at $9.99. This subscription includes video calling and peer reading sessions.

Rapid Growth Towards a Series A  

Within a mere two months, Edsoma expanded from its initial 300 paid users to a staggering 9,000 users. This expansion is a testament to its impact. CEO Kyle Wallgren now harbors ambitious plans to further scale the company. He is targeting a Series A funding round ranging between $10 million and $15 million. Moreover, Edsoma is eyeing an expansion into teaching reading in other languages, beginning with Spanish.

Wallgreen is holding confidence that Edsoma can become the primary literacy resource in the United States. He believes Edsoma will outshine its competitors this year and take the market lead by the following year.

O’Neal Discloses Investment Philosophy  

Shaquille O’Neal’s backing of Edsoma shows his newfound passion for investing in edtech that can transform lives. At a tech event, he emphasized his desire to invest in projects with the potential to change lives. He narrated his journey into the world of investing during the event. He also shared the stage with Kyle Wallgren, Edsoma’s CEO, who outlined the startup’s vision of teaching a million children how to read.

O’Neal’s investment philosophy was influenced by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. Bezos advocated for investing in endeavors that create a positive change. O’Neal recalled attending a conference in 1997 or 1998 where he heard Bezos deliver a speech on investment wisdom. It was there that he realized the profound impact of investing in transformative ventures.

Broadening Access to Education with AI  

Edsoma is an app that uses advanced technologies, including AI, to teach children to read and articulate words correctly. It also facilitates remote reading sessions for parents, bridging the gap when they can’t be physically present. In its first month of existence, the platform welcomed 300 students. Currently, it boasts a remarkable 9,000 students. Edsoma’s ultimate objective is to empower a million young minds with its educational prowess.

Kyle Wallgren, the CEO of Edsoma, emphasized the importance of ensuring that children from all backgrounds have access to quality education. This vision closely aligns with Shaquille O’Neal’s commitment to investing in projects that change lives.


Bal M

Bal was BTW's copywriter specialising in tech and productivity tools. He has experience working in startups, mid-size tech companies, and non-profits.

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