AI startup Gizmo raises $3.5M by using gamified quizzes and flashcards to make learning fun


A head open with books coming out and a hand with a light bulb on top.
Image Credits: Yutthana Gaetgeaw / Getty Images

Gizmo, a generative AI learning startup that uses gamified quizzes to engage learners, today announced $3.5 million in seed funding from NFX, Ada Ventures, and Capital T. The company will use the funding to scale its platform globally, hire more engineers and roll out new features.

Gizmo generates quizzes from a user’s class notes, which can either be copied and pasted into the platform or the AI can pull out information from PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, web pages, or even a YouTube video. There are also options to import notes from other flashcard tools like Quizlet and Anki.

The company told TechCrunch that the LLM models used to generate quizzes from users’ content are proprietary.

Additionally, users can give the AI a topic to generate a deck of notecards from scratch. Users can share a private link to their decks, which could be useful for classmates looking to study the same information together or teachers who want to create decks for their students. There’s also a marketplace for public decks where users share their flashcards with others.

Image Credits: Gizmo

Once a user creates a deck, Gizmo prepares a multiple-choice quiz based on the material. The quizzes use learning science techniques such as active recall and spaced repetition, the company explains, making learning easier and “super efficient.”

“Memory is critical for all forms of learning, but people forget 90% of what they learn,” said Petros Christodoulou, co-founder and CEO of Gizmo. “Generative AI is enabling us to create new ways to help people remember everything they learn in a fun and engaging way and that is why we started Gizmo.”

Like the language learning app Duolingo, Gizmo uses daily streaks to help keep users engaged. Every day, users have to answer a certain number of questions in order to achieve their streak for the day. There’s also a leaderboard where a user can see quiz grades and how they rank against their friends.

“We have some users on 365+ day streaks,” Christodoulou told us. He previously worked at Amazon as a machine learning researcher.

Plus, Gizmo gives users 15 lives every day, so when a user gets a quiz question wrong, they lose a life. Once they run out of lives, users can wait 10 minutes to get more, or they’re prompted to pay a monthly fee to get unlimited lives. Paying the subscription also lets them create unlimited AI-generated quizzes instead of 10 per day. The subscription is $8.80 per month or $52.80 per year.

Image Credits: Screenshot of Gizmo by TechCrunch

Gizmo plans to launch three new features over the next three months, including a note-taking feature so users can type notes right on the platform, a collaboration feature where users can quiz and study together and the ability to ask the AI questions directly.

Gizmo was founded in 2021 by three Cambridge University alumni with experience across machine learning, marketing, teaching, edtech, product and data — Christodoulou, Paul Evangelou (CPO) and Robin Jack (CTO).

The company hopes that its gamified experience makes learning fun and that Gizmo becomes “as addictive as going on TikTok,” Christodoulou said.

Gizmo boasts over 300,000 users. The company says it’s growing 50% month-over-month “mainly through word of mouth.” Gizmo is available on the web and on iOS and Android devices.

More TechCrunch

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

12 hours ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

14 hours ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo

Sony Music Group has sent letters to more than 700 tech companies and music streaming services to warn them not to use its music to train AI without explicit permission.…

Sony Music warns tech companies over ‘unauthorized’ use of its content to train AI

Winston Chi, Butter’s founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that “most parties, including our investors and us, are making money” from the exit.

GrubMarket buys Butter to give its food distribution tech an AI boost

The investor lawsuit is related to Bolt securing a $30 million personal loan to Ryan Breslow, which was later defaulted on.

Bolt founder Ryan Breslow wants to settle an investor lawsuit by returning $37 million worth of shares

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, launched an enterprise version of the prominent social network in 2015. It always seemed like a stretch for a company built on a consumer…

With the end of Workplace, it’s fair to wonder if Meta was ever serious about the enterprise

X, formerly Twitter, turned TweetDeck into X Pro and pushed it behind a paywall. But there is a new column-based social media tool in town, and it’s from Instagram Threads.…

Meta Threads is testing pinned columns on the web, similar to the old TweetDeck

As part of 2024’s Accessibility Awareness Day, Google is showing off some updates to Android that should be useful to folks with mobility or vision impairments. Project Gameface allows gamers…

Google expands hands-free and eyes-free interfaces on Android