Naspers said it led a combination primary and secondary US$540 million investment in BYJU’S, the creator of the most popular K-12 learning app in India.
The group said a significant portion is also being contributed by the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). The investment will drive the BYJU’S team to further innovate, explore and set new benchmarks for tech-enabled learning products.
The company has plans for international market expansion and will make bold investments in technology that will help to further personalise learning for students. The investment in BYJU’S also represents Naspers’ commitment to India across multiple sectors, and the company’s ongoing investment in entrepreneurs that are building leading technology companies in this high-growth market.
Launched in 2015, BYJU’S Learning App is the leader in offering personalised learning programmes for school students in 4th-12th grades in India. Delivering world-class learning experiences, the learning app merges videos, interactives and teachers to bring concepts to life. It also adapts to the unique learning style of every student, adjusting to the pace and style of their learning. More than 30 million students have used the BYJU’S Learning App and it has amassed over 2 million cumulative annual paid subscriptions, with an average engagement of 64 minutes per student daily.
Talking about the new investment, Byju Raveendran, Founder & CEO, BYJU’S – The Learning App, said, “We are happy to have prominent and long-term partners like Naspers and CPPIB on board with us. This partnership will strengthen our ability to deliver on our vision to build the world’s largest education company. India has the largest population attending primary school in the world and Indian households are willing to invest a lot in their children’s education because a good education is viewed as the best path to success. I believe the importance of quality education amongst the entire population in India fueled our ability to create an engaging and high-impact learning app.”
Byju further added, “While near-term profitability is important for us, as a company our main focus continues to be on long-term sustainable growth. The edtech industry is undergoing massive shifts; students today want to learn through engaging and interactive methods. We are pioneering ‘better learning for tomorrow’ with technology as an enabler and we have been working towards making students active learners. It is only through active learning that we can prepare our youth for jobs of tomorrow.”
“Naspers partners with high-potential companies that are tackling big societal needs like education, which represents a significant sector ripe for disruption across the globe,” said Russell Dreisenstock, Head of International Investments, Naspers Ventures. Dreisenstock, who will be joining the BYJU’S Board of Directors further stated, “With the largest school-age population in the world and a growing middle-class with the willingness to commit significant resources towards quality education for their children, BYJU’S is perfectly positioned to provide an effective supplemental education solution for students across India. We partnered with BYJU’S because we believe the company’s success in India will translate across borders in any country where students are looking for an innovative and engaging form of education beyond the classroom.”
In addition to BYJU’S, Naspers has built a significant edtech portfolio investing in companies with leading businesses around the world. The portfolio includes Udemy, the leading global marketplace for learning and instruction, Brainly, the world’s largest social learning community, Codecademy, an online interactive platform to learn to code and SoloLearn, a mobile-first community learning platform where students can learn, create, and share programming content. The education market globally is ripe for technology disruption.
Global trends including increases in population, smartphone usage, middle-class spending, and a growing youth population will require education to be revamped, as traditional educational institutions become unable to service all students and students demand a new way of learning.