After Mark Zuckerberg, World Bank unit invests in Indian edtech startup Byju’s

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  • Mark Zuckerberg
    Mark Zuckerberg
    American Internet entrepreneur

In March this year, Byju’s raised US$75 million, the largest ever investment round by an Indian edtech company

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has announced an undisclosed investment in Indian edtech company Byju’s.

This partnership will enable Byju’s to further its plans to make education accessible for students across India and in international markets.

In September this year, the Bangalore-headquartered startup received US$50 million, co-led by Sequoia Capital and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a fund launched by Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan. This came in six months after Byju’s raised US$75 million from Sequoia and Belgium-based Sofina in March this year, the largest ever funding round by an Indian edtech company.

Founded by Byju Raveendran in 2011, Byju’s offers learning programmes that are engaging for class 6-12 and test preparations for competitive exams like JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, GRE and GMAT. Its learning approach combines teachers, proven pedagogical methods, data sciences and Machine Learning to deliver personalised instruction, feedback and assessment for each student.

Byju’s has clocked 7 million downloads, 330,000 annual paid subscriptions and sees addition of 30,000 students every month. On an average, a student spends 40 minutes on the app every day from 17000-plus cities.

Ruchira Shukla, Regional Lead, Venture Capital Investments at IFC, said: “IFC’s venture capital strategy in the EduTech space is focused on technology enabled learning platforms for academic improvement, skill development platforms as well as supplemental and low cost education solutions. Byju’s is the market leader in the 4-12 segment offering engaging content and building concept clarity by identifying and addressing students’ learning gaps,” Shukla added.

According to Raveendran, “Today, almost 70 per cent of our users come from outside the top 10 cities. It is encouraging to see increased adoption from 1,700-plus towns and cities in the country, but there is still a long way to go before we call this a learning revolution. To further accelerate our reach in the deeper parts of India, we are planning to add channel partners across the country.”

India has the largest K-12 education system in the world, with over 260 million enrolments and is estimated to grow by 30 per cent by 2022. The one-size-fits-all approach, restricted access to quality education and learning driven by fear of exams have been the main reasons why India consistently ranks low in all global education assessments. Technology can play a key role in addressing these issues and making education more engaging and accessible. Byju’s has developed learning programs that address these needs along with making students love learning.

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