Meet Ello. Your child’s reading buddy.

Ello listens to your child read from real books, teaches and motivates them, and transforms them into enthusiastic readers.

Backed by
and a team of leading U.S. and European investors
Backed by

How It Works

1

Five books, delivered monthly

Each month, you’ll get 5 books, expertly matched to your child's reading level and interests. Use the books with Ello for the month – keep the ones you want, return the ones you don’t.
2

Your child reads to Ello

Your child selects a book from their box and opens the iPad app. Ello, your child's reading buddy and coach, uses state-of-the-art technology to follow along as they read out loud.
3

Ello teaches and motivates your child

Watch your child become a capable and eager reader. Ello brings the text to life, develops their skills using evidence-based coaching, and motivates them with growth mindset encouragement – and a real prize sent in next month’s box.

How Ello Works

1
Grab a book from your box and open the Ello App
Grab a book from your box and open the Ello App
2
Your child reads out loud to Ello
Your child reads out loud to Ello
3
Watch Ello coach your child into a confident, capable reader
Watch Ello coach your child into a confident, capable reader

The world’s first virtual reading coach that works with real books

Other apps talk, Ello listens

Other reading apps either teach isolated skills such as letter recognition, or they read TO your child. That’s not enough. With Ello, your child reads out loud, just like they would with their teachers or literacy specialists.

First-of-its-kind AI technology

Ello uses patent-pending speech recognition and adaptive learning technology to engage with your child while they develop critical reading skills.

Real books, quality screen time

When children make a personal connection with a real book, their natural, joyful curiosity flourishes. Ello elevates the book, instead of distracting your child from it.

Reading is the gateway to learning

Statistics every parent should know

2x
Children are 2x more likely to drop out of high school if they are not a proficient reader by the end of 3rd grade.
4x
Children are 4x more likely to remain a poor reader through 4th grade if they are behind in 1st grade.
78k
Children are exposed to 78k more words each year when they read at least 1 book each day.
Reading skills have stalled during the pandemic. Reading fluency in the U.S. is roughly 30 percent behind what would be expected in a typical year.

No more guesswork - perfect books, delivered

‘Just right’ books are hard to find. Each month, our reading experts hand-select 5 delightful books your child will love, at just the right level to help them grow. Check out some books that are in our collection.

Predictable text
Caldecott Medal
Beloved Authors
Books with rhythm and rhyme
Theodore Seuss Geisel Award
Beloved Characters
Beloved Authors
Predictable text
Books with rhythm and rhyme
Caldecott Medal
Theodore Seuss Geisel Award
Beloved Characters

Your child’s personal reading tutor

If your child gets stuck or misreads a word, Ello uses proven strategies to help them decode and develop fluency. Ello keeps them motivated – not frustrated.

Ready to hear “I want to read more!” from your kids?

With fun characters and Ello by their side, your child will develop a passion for reading. As they read, they’ll earn real rewards that will be delivered in the next month’s box.

Why parents are saying “Hello Ello!”

Both of my girls woke up asking for more of Ello!

Alison K.

My son loves his Ello reading buddy! I love that it motivates him with encouragement and rewards.

Cristina R.

I love that he is willing to read to Ello – I haven’t heard him read out loud in some time as he can be shy and self-conscious. This helped make him feel confident.

Nikki A.

I love the interaction between Ello and my daughter.

Sarika V.

I love how simple this is and easy for her to use. And she really likes it!

Lacey M.

Who We Are

We’re a tight-knit team with deep experience in K-12 education, childhood development, and technology, who came together to support parents in creating the best learning environment for their child.
Co-Founder, CEO
Tom Sayer
Before Ello, Tom was the head of impact and adoption programs at Google for Education, where his team...
Read MoRE
Tom Sayer
Co-Founder/CEO
Before Ello Tom was the head of impact and adoption programs at Google for Education, where his team was responsible for ensuring that Google tools were used effectively in classrooms worldwide. He is on the board of GO Public schools, an organization dedicated to giving voice to families in the most underserved communities, and on the advisory board of Education Reimagined, the movement builder of learner centered education. He has also worked as an intelligence officer, a product manager, founded an EdTech company (with Catalin), and has built a mini-golf course in Cambodia. Tom graduated from Cambridge University with first-class honors in maths and psychology and has an MBA and MA (Education) from Stanford. He has won the Lamor prize at Cambridge, the Queen’s medal at Sandhurst, the Intelligence top student award, and was a Siebel Scholar at the GSB. He loves running, rugby, and lives with his wife and son in San Francisco.
Co-Founder, CCO
Dr. Elizabeth Adams
Elizabeth is a clinical psychologist who specializes in child development, child behavior, and working with...
Read MoRE
Elizabeth Adams
Co-founder, Chief Clinical Officer
Elizabeth is a clinical psychologist who specializes in child development, child behavior, and working with children and families in community settings, schools, clinics, and hospitals. She has worked with children and families for over 15 years. She provides training and education to students and professionals, has presented at national and international conferences, has published articles and book chapters on child development, and has been interviewed by magazines and radio programs on a variety of parent topics. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, two children, and labrador.
Co-Founder, CTO
Catalin Voss
Catalin previously developed an AI-based augmented reality therapy for children with autism which is currently pursuing...
Read MoRE
Catalin Voss
Co-founder, CTO
Catalin previously developed an AI-based augmented reality therapy for children with autism which is currently pursuing FDA clearance. He is currently on a leave of absence from the PhD program in Artificial Intelligence at Stanford University where he led a project using natural language processing to identify racial disparities in the California criminal justice system. He previously graduated from Stanford with an MS in Computer Science. He also co-founded machine learning companies DukaConnect and Sension (with Tom), both acquired.

While in high school, Catalin built a mobile payments system at PayNearMe with Macintosh-father Steve Capps. He has won the Lemelson-MIT Graduate Student prize, Stanford's Kennedy Medal, Forbes’ 30 under 30, and Business Insider’s 40 under 40. Originally from Germany, Catalin moved to Silicon Valley at age 17 and now lives in San Francisco with his partner Ruby.
Developmental Reading Specialist
Lauren Sittel
Lauren has been teaching and tutoring in the reading field since 2004, and has worked with students from preschool...
Read MoRE
Lauren Sittel
Developmental Reading Specialist
Lauren has been teaching and tutoring in the reading field since 2004, and has worked with students from preschool through college. She has a B.A. in English from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo and her M.S. in Education with an emphasis in Reading Instruction from California State University, Fullerton. She currently works as a reading specialist and literacy content creator using the Orton-Gillingham approach to literacy instruction. She is actively involved in the Science of Reading movement so that all children, including those of diverse backgrounds and neurologies, can become strong, motivated readers.
Developmental Reading Specialist
Samantha Brooks
Samantha has been an Educator for the past 30 years.  She currently resides  in Fayetteville, Arkansas with...
Read MoRE
Samantha Brooks
Developmental Reading Specialist
Samantha Brooks has been an Educator for the past 30 years.  She currently resides  in Fayetteville, Arkansas with her husband Lee and  two children.

Earning her BSE in Elementary Education from Kansas State University in 1991, she then spent 28 years as a Special Education Resource Teacher for grades K-5. She has worked with students with various academic and behavior disabilities in regular classroom settings, small group intervention and one on one therapy settings. She received her Masters in Special Education in 1994 from University of Central Arkansas. Enhancing her knowledge of reading, she received training in the Orton Gillingham methodology in 2013 receiving Therapist level credentials and a Dyslexia Endorsement from the University of Arkansas in 2014. Implementing Orton Gillingham practices in her classroom significantly enhanced her skills as a reading teacher, especially in the area of Dyslexia and related reading disorders. Upon retiring from the classroom in 2017, she joined  Brainspring as an Orton-Gillingham Instructor and has conducted trainings all over the country, helping teachers deepen their knowledge of  the science of teaching reading. She continues to serve as a reading consultant with many districts and teachers. 
Reading Specialist and Curriculum Advisor
Tiffany Petrillo
Tiffany is a certified reading teacher who has taught Pre-K and Kindergarten for more...
Read MoRE
Tiffany Petrillo
Reading Specialist and Curriculum Advisor
Tiffany is a certified reading teacher who has taught Pre-K and Kindergarten for more than ten years, helping young children develop a love for reading. She earned a B.A. in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Teaching from American University, as well as a Certificate in Emergent Literacy from Johns Hopkins University. In addition to Tiffany’s passion for discovering engaging and diverse children’s literature, she enjoys reading to her own daughter (and husband) at their home in Maryland.
Software Engineer
Victoria Akeyo
Victoria is a Software Engineering graduate from the University of Sheffield. During her time in university, she worked...
Read MoRE
Victoria Akeyo
Software Engineer
Victoria is a Software Engineering graduate from the University of Sheffield. During her time in university, she worked on building a social platform to allow for restaurant retailers and tourists to interact. She also worked on a data collection system to support animal survey schemes.

Victoria covers both front-end and backend software development for Ello and has an interest in machine learning. Victoria's goal is to build software systems that improve people’s lives and she strongly believes that software has the power to change the world for the better.

Victoria lives in Nairobi, Kenya and she enjoys spending time with friends and family, sketching, and photography.
Software Engineer
Anish Nag
Anish is an undergraduate at UC Berkeley studying Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS). In the...
Read MoRE
Anish Nag
Software Engineer
Anish is an undergraduate at UC Berkeley studying Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS). In the past, he has worked with ion thrusters for space flight, financial communication systems for loss mitigation, and tools for early-age autism diagnosis using wearable technology. Anish has a newfound interest in human-computer interaction (HCI) and wants to bridge the gap between novel research and impact. He loves to stargaze, watch the sunset, collect vinyls, and explore the corners of Berkeley, CA where he currently lives.
Software Engineer
James Mwangi
James is a full stack software engineer who has worked for both startups and innovation labs for local and...
Read MoRE
James Mwangi
Software Engineer
James is a full stack software engineer who has worked for both startups and innovation labs for local and international companies. These include Dukaconnect a machine learning startup that was later acquired by Mastercard. This led to him joining Mastercard Labs For Financial Inclusion where he continued working on the product together with contributing to other projects that helped with financial inclusion for farmers, schools, and small retailers in Africa and India. He also  worked for Safaricom Alpha an innovation lab for Safaricom, the leading communications company in Kenya where he helped work on an instant messenger that integrated payments using MPESA a mobile money transfer service in Kenya. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

How does Ello work?

Ello revolutionizes the way children learn to read by combining real books with state-of-the-art speech recognition technology and Artificial Intelligence. Ello listens to your child reading out loud, uses evidence-based strategies to help your child when they get stuck, and behavioral psychology to motivate them to keep going.

What types of books do you send?

Ones that your child will love! 

Every box of books has to meet three criteria: 

  1. Highly engaging
  2. Just the right level for your child’s reading ability
  3. Matched to their interests

We believe that fantastic books create enthusiastic readers and we work with reading specialists to source classic beloved books and new undiscovered gems. The best part is that we take the guesswork out of finding books that are "just right" for your child – ones that are not too easy and not too hard.

What’s included in my membership?

As an Ello member, you will have unlimited access to the Ello app and a monthly box of five real books that work with it. New books are sent each month, challenging your child, sparking a love of reading, and rewarding them with real prizes sent in next month's box.

What age range is Ello designed for?

Generally 4–8 years of age, but it depends on the child. 

At the younger end, if they can read the sentence “I am a cat” then Ello will work for them. 

At the older end, Ello works well through the end of 2nd grade for a child reading at grade level, and longer if they are behind.

Can I get more than 5 books a month?

Right now, we offer only 5 books per month. But you can email us at support@helloello.com to let us know you'd like more.

How do I cancel?

Each month, at the end of the month, we text you to check how it's going. Tell us then! Or you can email us at support@helloello.com at any time.

Can I order a gift subscription?

Absolutely. Email support@helloello.com and we’ll get you all set up!

When does the box ship?

The box will ship within 4 days of you signing up.

Do you have a donation program?

Yes! We love to share the love of reading. If you would like to donate your books, simply email support@helloello.com and let us know. Send your books back as normal and we will take care of the rest, ensuring that books end up in the homes of children who need them most.

Other questions?
Email support@helloello.com or text (650) 405-0324
How does my child use Ello?

Each month, your child will receive a box of five engaging and developmentally appropriate books. They’ll pick up their tablet and Ello book and begin reading out loud to Ello. Ello will help them if they get stuck, and motivate them to keep reading.

How does Ello keep my child engaged?

Ello acts just like an engaging parent or teacher. As your child reads, Ello brings the story to life, provides words of encouragement, and helps them if they get stuck so they don't get frustrated. 

We then use behavioral psychology and a growth mindset paradigm to keep your child encouraged, help their confidence soar, and build a love of reading. As they read more, they collect stars and badges, and if they read all their books they get a prize sent in the next month's box.

What literacy strategies do you use to support my child?

Ello uses proven, phonics-based reading strategies to help your child decode words and develop fluency. 

How do you determine my child's reading level?

We make it easy! We’ll take you through a short series of questions in our onboarding process. 

We will automatically update the books over the course of your subscription, so Ello grows along with your child.

Can I use the app without getting the box of books?

No. Ello’s coaching is tailored to the books we have selected for your child.

Other questions?
Email support@helloello.com or text (650) 405-0324
How do you determine my child's reading level?

We make it easy! We’ll take you through a short series of questions in our onboarding process. 

We will automatically update the books over the course of your subscription, so Ello grows along with your child.

What types of books do you send?

Ones that your child will love! 

Every box of books has to meet three criteria: 

  1. Highly engaging
  2. Just the right level for your child’s reading ability
  3. Matched to their interests

We believe that fantastic books create enthusiastic readers and we work with reading specialists to source classic beloved books and new undiscovered gems. The best part is that we take the guesswork out of finding books that are "just right" for your child – ones that are not too easy and not too hard.

What comes in my monthly Ello box?

Every box comes with 5 books, perfectly selected to match your child's reading level and interests. After your first month, your child will also receive a physical reward, such a special book or craft kit, for their hard work and reading from the previous month. 

What does it mean that a book is ‘just right’ or ‘levelled’ for my child?

It means that it is challenging enough so that they develop their reading skills, but not so challenging that they get frustrated.

In school, your child's teacher does this. We bring this into your home by determining your child's level, leveling popular books, and sending them to you. By answering a few short questions, we can help determine your child’s appropriate developmental reading level.


Can I keep the books?

Absolutely! We know that building a library of high-interest books is one of the best ways to instill a love of reading. With Ello, you are in control of which books you keep. Best of all, you can keep each book for $5 which is likely much less than you’d find or Amazon. Just return the ones you don’t want.

Can I return the books?

Absolutely. Simply attach the pre-paid, pre-addressed label to your Ello box, put the books inside that you want to return, and leave it for USPS to pick up. You can return your books up to 4 weeks after receiving them.

Can I return some of the books and keep some of the books?

With Ello, you pick which books you want to keep and which books you want to return. Simply put the books you want to return in the Ello box, add the prepaid label, and give it to USPS. We’ll presume you want to purchase any you don’t send back!

What happens if I lose or damage a book I wanted to return?

If you lose or significantly damage a book, you will be charged the cost of the book.

Why not just buy books from Amazon?

Because our books work with the Ello app, they’re leveled just right for your child, and they’re cheaper than you’ll find online!

Other questions?
Email support@helloello.com or text (650) 405-0324
What data do you collect?

It’s up to you. 

If you choose to allow it, we process the audio of your child reading so that Ello can provide real-time support and motivation, and so your child can access certain features of the app, such as listening to themselves read. Separately, you can opt-in to give us access to this data so that we can improve Ello. 

We also collect data of your child's progress to provide the service (for example the rewards.)

Finally, we collect anonymous and aggregated usage data. See our privacy policy for full details.

What do you do with the data you collect?

It is up to you if we collect any data - it is optional.

If you choose to allow it we use the audio of your child reading to provide additional features such as your child listening to themselves read. Separately, you can opt-in to give us access to this data so that we can improve Ello. 

We then use data of your child’s progress to provide the service (for example the rewards,) and anonymous and aggregated usage data to improve the product.

Do you sell the data that you collect?

No. Never.

Do you have ads in the app?

No. Never.

How secure is the data you collect?

It's very secure. We use industry-leading encryption and security.

Other questions?
Email support@helloello.com or text (650) 405-0324
Can I keep the books?

Absolutely! We know that building a library of high-interest books is one of the best ways to instill a love of reading. With Ello, you are in control of which books you keep. Best of all, you can keep each book for $5 which is likely much less than you’d find or Amazon. Just return the ones you don’t want.

Can I return the books?

Absolutely. Simply attach the pre-paid, pre-addressed label to your Ello box, put the books inside that you want to return, and leave it for USPS to pick up. You can return your books up to 4 weeks after receiving them.

Can I return some of the books and keep some of the books?

With Ello, you pick which books you want to keep and which books you want to return. Simply put the books you want to return in the Ello box, add the prepaid label, and give it to USPS. We’ll presume you want to purchase any you don’t send back!

What happens if I lose or damage a book I wanted to return?

If you lose or significantly damage a book, you will be charged the cost of the book.

If I lost my return envelope, can I still send back the books?

Yes. Please email support@helloello.com and we will help.

How do I return unwanted books?

We include a pre-paid envelope in every Ello box so you can easily send back any books you do not want to keep.

If I missed the 4-week return deadline, can I still return my books?

Unfortunately not. After 4 weeks with the books, you will be charged for any unreturned books. If you know in advance you will miss the deadline please email support@helloello.com and we’ll see what we can do!

Other questions?
Email support@helloello.com or text (650) 405-0324