Packback, a Chicago, IL-based developer of an AI-powered online discussion platform, raised $4.2m in Series A funding.
The round was led by University Ventures, with participation from previous investors Mark Cuban, Wintrust Ventures, and Wildcat Capital.
Led by Mike Shannon, Co-Founder and CEO, Packback provides an AI-powered online discussion platform used by over 100 U.S. universities, which allows students to engage in academic discourse as a core part of their instructor’s curriculum and coursework.
The platform enables faculty to make use of the Socratic Method within large lectures or online classes, by leveraging Packback’s algorithms to quantify and improve difficult-to-measure behaviors such as critical thinking and curiosity, all through analyzing a student’s written questions and responses. It incorporates elements of gamification, including points and leaderboards.
The company’s human-assisted approach to AI uses feedback from college professors to train models and data sets.