BYJU's, Ed-Tech Company That is Reinventing How Students Learn, Through Its Learning App
This number is expected to grow to 330 million in the next 5 years. 70% of these K-12 students today have access to a smartphone, and this percentage is fast increasing.
BYJU’s, India’s largest ed-tech player that has raised around $110 million from investors like Sofina, Sequoia and Aarin Capital. The company’s main product is BYJU’s Learning App, aimed at K12 students. Launched in 2014, the app aims to bridge the access gap by enabling students to learn via recorded video lectures from some of the best teacher’s in the country.
Having said that, the app is not just a video of a teacher in front of a board. To make learning visual and contextual, BYJU’s makes use of original content, graphics and other video tools to explain various concepts and theories. The entire experience is extremely engaging and interesting for students and this is why the app has a user base of over 5 million and paid subscriber base of over 2 lakh students.
BYJU’s is miles away from how a traditional school / classroom coaching centre operates. Rather than being a home to teachers, BYJU’s today is more a home for filmmakers, directors and multimedia content creators who take a brief from educationists to create the most compelling content for children. It is then delivered by 'teacher-performers’ who ‘act’ as per the script to ensure the delivery of content in the most lucid way possible. They have to ensure that every segment of each session is extremely interesting, because if it is not, their ‘audience' (students) might get bored and switch off. That is why it takes one day for one person to create 1 minute of video content.
BYJU’s started off small in 2011 as an offline test prep provider, however the inflection point for them came about when they launched their app in 2014 enabling them to scale beyond the geographical barriers that classroom teaching presents and reinvent how students learn in India.
Sujata Sangwan Interacts With Byju Raveendran, Founder, BYJU And Spoke To Him
BYJU’s is India’s largest Ed-tech (learning) company that is changing the way students learn through our learning app (BYJU’s-The learning app). We offer learning programs that are effective and engaging for students in class 4-12, and for competitive exams like CAT, IAS, GRE & GMAT. We make learning visual & contextual, and not just theoretical. We leverage technology and data science to make learning truly personalized, to the extent that students will know what to learn, when to learn, how to learn and how much to learn.
The learning app makes use of original content, watch-and-learn videos, rich animations and interactive simulations that, as opposed to rote memorization, make learning contextual and visual. The app also adapts to the unique learning style of each student, inviting them to explore different concepts. We launched the app in 2015 and already have over 5 million users onboard. We have 200,000 annual paid subscribers in the last 8 months. Currently, we are adding 30000 paid users monthly, growing at a phenomenal rate of 15% month on month.
How Was It Started?
Initially I was in the test prep industry and was helping students clear competitive exams like CAT. My experience with graduate students made me realize that you can make a bigger impact if you can make an intervention in the way they learn in their formative years, when they start learning & feeling the subjects in school.
There is a lot of scope for improvement in the way students learn. Learning is still driven by the fear of exams, and not the love for learning. There is so much focus on the end result of marks and grades, that students miss out on the fun of real learning. If students learn in the right way, and if they like learning, they will secure good marks anyway.
For most Indians, education is still the best way to make it big, so if we can help millions of students learn better, that will create a huge impact.
Unique Key Features
We are creating a new segment of millions of self paced learners, which companies globally have not been able to achieve. We currently have 5 million downloads, but more importantly, 200,000+ paid annual subscribers. This is made possible because of a unique combination of content, media and technology.
A validation of the impact is our high retention & engagement metrics (average 40 min/day spent on the app, 90% YOY renewal over the last 2 years & over 30 million lessons watched). We make "every" student fall in love with learning and not focus on just the motivated ones and the 'toppers'.
Till date we have raised USD 110 million over 3 rounds of funding from Aarin Capital, Sequoia Capital and Sofina.
BYJU’s follows a freemium model where some part of our content is available for free to students while we charge for advanced levels. Students can download the app and try it. If they like what it offers and want to subscribe to the lessons, they need to pay an annual subscription fee.
Since the launch of the app in 2015, we already have over 5 million users onboard. We have 200,000 annual paid subscribers in the last 8 months. Currently, we are adding 30000 paid users monthly, growing at a phenomenal rate of 15% month on month.
Currently we are offering products in India for grades 4-12. We plan to expand geographically and take the product to other countries. We also plan to add more products for more grades and multiple languages.
Most students are getting trained to solve questions but they are not encouraged to find problems. Since learning is driven by the fear of exams rather than the love of learning, the focus has been on complete spoon-feeding, rather than encouraging children to learn on their own.
The challenge has always been around changing the perception about how children should learn. Students should take up the initiative of learning on their own, while parents and teachers should take up supporting roles.
We are overcoming it, by allowing them to experience the product. Once children see how fun and engaging learning can be, they start learning on their own. Parents also get to witness this and this increases their faith in the product and the thinking behind it. As a result, the perception towards students learning on their own via technology, is fast changing.
Market Size & Opportunity
In India, education is considered as the best way, if not the only way, to make it big in life. Therefore, aspiration levels are extremely high.
The Indian K-12 Education market, with over 260 million enrollments, is the largest in the world.
This number is expected to grow to 330 million in the next 5 years. 70% of these K-12 students today have access to a smartphone, and this percentage is fast increasing. With the smartphone penetration growing exponentially, it presents a huge opportunity to be tapped and addresses the problem of reach. Household spend on education is also growing rapidly (from USD 300/ household in 2010 to USD 1050/household in 2020).
Taking all this into consideration, the market size today is estimated to be USD 9 Billion, expected to grow to USD 30 Billion in the next 5 years.
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