Mark Zuckerberg's Foundation invests $50 million in Bengaluru-based Byju's!September 09, 2016 16:00
The Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg's Foundation Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is all set to invest around $50 million (Rs. 333 crores) in the India's leading education technology provider Byju's. It had raised $75 million from Sequoia and Sofina in March this year.
Byju's founder and Chief Executive Byju Raveendran said in a statement in Bengaluru, that, "We will deploy the fund to fuel international expansion and inspire additional funding from leading companies the world over."
"The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative supports innovative models of learning wherever they are around the world," said Vivian Wu of CZI, who will join Byju's board.
"Education can give young people and their families a path to a better future, and families in India work hard to give their children that chance. Byju's represents an opportunity to help even more students develop a love for learning and unlock their potential."
The Times of India reported, "Byju and team are democratizing access to high quality education. Times have always believed in the power of digital education and its potential social impact for India. We are excited to join him in his journey, along with Mark and others," Satyan Gajwani, vice-chairman of Times Internet, said.
"What Zuckerberg liked about us is that we have consumers in over 1,200 towns in the country and not just in metros. We also had a retention rate of 90% of our last year's consumers," Raveendran said.
"Once children fall in love with learning, they will start learning on their own. That's why Byju's products are built in ways that inspire children to take initiative and learn on their own," Raveendran said.
"With an average engagement rate of 40 minutes per day, we are proving to be effective at improving learning outcomes and engaging India's students," Raveendran said.
Byju's was founded in 2011 as a test preparation business, helping CAT aspirants crack the exam. Its learning app saw over 5.5 million downloads and 250,000 paid annual subscribers within a year of its launch. The app helps in effective learning programmes for students from classes 4 to 12 and competitive exams like JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, GRE and GMAT.