MEIF - Proof of Concept

Why we invested: Graide

Since Mercia Ventures first invested in Graide in 2022, a lot has changed in the world of artificial intelligence. With the rise of ChatGPT and other LLMs, AI is rapidly becoming part of everyday life. Through its unique approach, Graide is bringing this transformative innovation to the education market. In December 2023, almost two years since our first investment into Graide, we participated in a £1.65m round to help the team bring their solution to new markets.

Think back to your student days. How much feedback did you receive on your assignments? During my time at university, the only feedback I ever received was a score out of 100. As teaching assistants at the University of Birmingham, Graide’s co-founders felt this pain from the other side. Existing automated solutions weren’t able to provide the formative feedback students needed and, at the same time, traditional paper grading systems were slow and struggled to maintain consistency.

Graide was founded in 2019 with a mission to change this. Their AI-based platform helps teachers grade assignments quicker while simultaneously providing more feedback to students. Unlike standard AI marking platforms, it doesn’t need to run large amounts of data through neural networks and doesn’t need to share data with other users in order to work properly. It is also ‘self-aware’. The platform only shows marks it is confident in, ensuring the teacher remains in total control and knows any pieces of work that may need scrutiny. Initially designed for marking maths and science papers, the company has since expanded to include essays and reports in all subjects.

Institutions who have adopted the technology have been able to speed up marking by between four and seven times and are saving over £400,000 in staff costs each year. The platform is now being used by universities including Birmingham, Durham and Sussex, as well as learning platforms and exam boards.

The future is exciting for Graide. Educators worldwide are becoming increasingly receptive to innovation as they seek to improve efficiency and up-level the student experience. This latest funding brings the total raised to date to over £2.5m and will help Manjinder and the team take advantage of these emerging opportunities.