Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative had made their first investment in Asia in a Bengaluru-based company, Byju’s. It was a startup company in 2008. Presently it is a $1 Billion company.
“As part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Priscilla and I are investing in an Indian education technology company we’re excited about called BYJU’s,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook wall in 2016.
The initial round of funding valued Byju’s at around $500 million. The company expanded to other English-speaking countries.
But what made Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan invest in Byju’s?
Byju Raveendran started Byju’s as a way to help students from different backgrounds across India learn in a way that works best for them and that isn’t boring.
Zuckerberg has put his faith in Byju’s ‘personalized learning’ platform.
“I’m optimistic about personalized learning and the difference it can make for students everywhere. That’s why it’s a major focus of our education efforts, and why we’re looking forward to working with companies like BYJU’s to get these tools into the hands of more students and teachers around the world,” Zuckerberg had added in his interview in 2016.
Byju’s initially helped students who wanted to crack the CAT exam and later expanded into other competitive exams. It operated through physical classrooms for many years before it moved on to video classes online.
Byju’s expert teacher team consists of young Indian graduates from American universities and rank holders in competitive exams.
“Learning so addictive you’ll fall in love with it” is what catches the eye and reads in when you visit their website.
The page is interactive and features teachers explaining the theorems like Pythagoras and other such subjects using visual media and animation as contradictory to theoretical learning.
Byju’s offers these interactive classes for students from 9th grade to 12th grade including preparing for competitive exams like IIT-JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, GRE, and GMAT.
Apart from video-based learning, you can also take chapter-wise tests.
These tests are what Byju’s call ‘adaptive learning’ which are personalized to every student’s aptitude that comes with feedback and analysis.
Byju’s also features one-on-one learning option with the teachers.
It provides its students with sample papers and previous exam papers to ensure utmost preparation.
The company peaked in popularity when the Byju’s launched its mobile app in 2015. “So far, BYJU’s has 250,000 subscribers who use the app for an average of 40 minutes a day — and it’s working,” Zuckerberg had written on his post in 2016. But now Byjus has 15 million users and 9 lakh paid subscribers.
The mobile app uses a mix of video lessons and interactive tools to help teach subjects like math and science. It extends its competitive exam courses to the app.
The learning app, like its website, is interactive and visually rich.
Byju’s prep tab
Byju’s has also introduced what is called a ‘prep tab’, a tablet for students seeking to give their GRE exam. The prep tab includes classes, videos, test, exams and more.Byju’s has won awards including Winner of the CNBC-TV 18 Crisil Emerging India Award in Education.
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