Startup of the Day: Leya AI, a Lithuanian edtech startup

Leya AI was co-founded by Mindaugas Bruzas and Donatas Tamosauskas in 2023 with a mission to give access to personal coaching powered by Large Language Models for everyone on the planet. The first version of the Leya AI app was launched in June 2023. A month ago, the startup raised €1 million in a pre-seed funding round from V-Sharp Venture Studio, Inventure,, and several angels.

In the Startup of the Day column, Mindaugas Bruzas, co-founder of Leya AI, shares the details about the startup’s idea, its product, and future plans.

The Startup of the Day column on AIN.Capital is dedicated to tech projects from all sectors that originated from the CEE countries. If you would like to introduce your project, please fill in the questionnaire.

Leya AI
Mindaugas Bruzas and Donatas Tamosauskas. Image: Leya AI

Tell us about Leya AI. How does it work?

Leya AI is on a mission to give everyone on the planet access to personal coaching. While the mission is big, we start by focusing on a single problem first – English Language learning. Our team’s short-term focus is to revolutionize language learning methods by providing an affordable real-time speaking personal AI Tutor.

This is what the current stance of Leya AI is – it acts like a personal English Tutor that offers conversational exercises akin to real successful English tutors’.

How did you come up with the startup’s idea? What was the reason/motivation behind it?

5 years ago, I was struggling with my English speaking skills, tried various solutions, but nothing helped. That changed when I started to speak only English in my daily communication. I would talk with my Lithuanian friends, colleagues, and relatives only in English. It was difficult – it took me a year to see the desired results and brought a lot of frustration for others. In other words, I experienced the pain of learning English deeply myself,

The idea of a language tutor application was born due to a few key reasons that unite all of our team: the team Leya has worked together for 4 years on AI/ML speech technologies, and we had developed a speech-to-text engine that was five times more accurate than the biggest competitors’. This expertise transferred perfectly to Leya AI. The second and most important reason is that the founders (and the whole team) experienced language learning problems first-hand.

How long did it take to reach the prototype or MVP? What did you encounter?

It took us a few weeks to build the prototype. And a prototype it was – lacking any sort of UI design and running locally during demos. We displayed it when we interviewed dozens of people, who all shared the same problem – reaching a plateau when learning English. The prototype, even if very basic, served us well during the customer persona interviews.

There we realized that there is a huge gap in the market – people were reaching a plateau with traditional language learning apps, however personal language tutors were too expensive or inconvenient to be an option. This just strengthened our willingness to double down on a “tutor in your pocket” type of product, which turned into the Leya AI English Tutor application.

When exactly did you launch your product? Or when the launch is planned?

The real MVP was launched in June 2023, with already proven market demand, we were certain that there was a problem in need of a solution. Currently, Leya AI is a web-based application (PWA) that allows one to use it on a browser or download it as a desktop / mobile app. And we are planning to transform it into a native app soon.

Tell us about the startup’s business model. How do you monetize your product?

The business model for now is simple – it’s a B2C product monetized through a subscription model. We’re sticking to what works well and will expand to other business models when we see the need.

What are your target markets and consumers?

Our target consumers are from all around the world – both developing and developed countries, ex-pats and immigrants, professionals, and language students. Everyone shares the same desire to learn the English language and certainly knows it to some extent to understand the simplest instructions from Leya while communicating with it.

The environment Leya creates promotes ease and relaxation, that’s the perfect environment for learning- people are less afraid to make mistakes, and Leya corrects them – that’s one of the most powerful learning techniques,

The majority of our users are looking for how to improve their speaking skills, and using other apps hasn’t solved the problem so far. Also, lot of users are not confident practicing with tutors, who sometimes could be too judgmental and not so friendly.

If the startup has already launched the product, what are the results: metrics, income, or any clear indicators that can be evaluated.

Since its launch in June 2023, Leya has amassed over 5500 users from over 100 countries. We have also received countless positive feedback from the rating system implemented into our application.
We do see traction in our current solution, and our users are already using Leya as a life coach and a partner- this shows us that our current users already have a need for a solution closest to our mission.

What about your team? How many people are working in the startup? If you’re looking for new employees, indicate whom exactly.

We have a team of 7 full-time people working fully remotely. We are looking for exceptional individuals to join our team. Currently, we are looking for exceptional engineers, product managers, and UX/UI designers to join our team.

Have you already raised any investments? Provide us with more details on each funding round: the amount, investors, the purpose of the investment.

At the start of 2024, we just raised an €1 million pre-seed round. Leya AI will use these funds to improve the AI English Tutor and keep growing our market share within the EdTech industry. Some notable investors, such as V-Sharp Venture Studio, Inventure,, and multiple experienced angel investors, joined this round.

Details about the investment:

What’s next? Tell us about your future plans.

Our long-term mission is to give access to personal coaching for everyone on the planet. Yet, one of our core internal values is “Think big, start small” – that’s exactly what we’re doing. The current application allows users to learn English, and in the future, we’ll be ready to take a huge step forward and expand to other languages, other domains, as an AI coaching tool in particular.