Poland-headquartered edtech startup Brainly has raised $30 Mn in a fresh funding round led by Naspers. Runa Capital and Manta Ray also participated in the round.
In a press statement, the company said it would use the funds to improve user experience and further expand its presence in developing markets such as India.
With this round, the total funding raised by Brainly is $68.5 Mn from investors such as Naspers, Point Nine Capital, General Catalyst, Runa Capital, Learn Capital and Kulczyk Investments.
Founded in 2009 by Michal Borkowski, Lukasz Haluch, and Tomasz Kraus, Brainly uses the community approach for its edtech platform. In simple terms, it creates a community of students who can seek each other’s help in addressing questions across school subjects. The company claims to have more than 150 Mn monthly unique users across 35 countries.
Brainly claims that India is one of its key markets, while globally it claims to have more than 150 Mn unique monthly users. Cofounder and CEO Michal Borkowski said the funding would enable Brainly to tap the high-potential growth markets for collaborative learning.
“We also plan to utilise these funds to expand our offerings for the Indian community of students, parents and teachers, by providing a platform to discuss and study in other local languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Telugu, and Punjabi.”
It’s not at all surprising that Brainly is looking at the Indian market with such a deep focus on localisation. The bulk of the next-generation of internet users is expected to be from the section of the population that doesn’t primarily speak, read or communicate in English. Nearly 75% of India’s internet user base is expected to be made up of regional language speakers by 2021, according to a KPMG and Google report. It also says that by 2021, nine out of every 10 new internet users in the country will likely be an Indian regional language speaker.
Edtech Boom in India
According to DataLabs by Inc42, there were 3,500 edtech startups in India in 2018. Between 2014 and 2018, 182 edtech startups were funded with a total of $1.34 Bn, so the investor interest has remained high for edtech, and this could explain Amazon’s entry despite the long list of competitors.
Indian edtech segment is expected to be a $1.96 Bn market by 2021. Some of the leading players include BYJU’S, Unacademy, Toppr etc. Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2019 report said that online education space has been attracting huge traction and growth over the past few years in India, with annual viewership for ‘How To’ videos reaching 4.5 Bn hours with 59% next-generation users citing it as their preferred learning tool. The growth of such interactive learning tools bodes well for digital education and edtech platforms in the Indian context.