India’s e-learning app, Byju, to be offered in Arabic
Byju’s to open an office with a content creation team in Dubai
India’s education-tech startup Byju’s is planning to open an office and a dedicated content creation team in Dubai to offer the app in Arabic by 2019.
The “Byju’s: The Learning App” is the world’s fifth largest funded education-tech start-up with $100 million (Dh367 million) from the Chan-Zuckerberg initiative and more than $100 million from Sequoia Capital, Tencent, Sofina, Verlinvest, Light Speed, Times Internet and International Finance Corp.
Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of Byju’s, told Gulf News the idea behind launching the learning app in 2015 was to reinvent the classroom and make it more accessible, engaging and personalised for students by merging interactive videos and teachers to bring concepts to life. He said that 12 million students have already downloaded the app so far, with 30 per cent coming from outside India. “We have a big audience from the region, especially the UAE with more than 120,000 downloads, where the smartphone penetration and internet penetration is much better and faster than in India,” he said.
Raveendran, an engineer by profession, describes himself as an entrepreneur by chance and a teacher by choice and is enjoying every step of his journey.
The app offers learning programmes for math and science for students in classes from 4-12. He said that the company is going to offer similar programmes to students younger than grade four age next year.
“The learning app has seen a high annual renewal rate of 89 per cent, which is a big validation of its effectiveness. Technology needs to be used extensively to make learning better and more effective online and the need to integrate technology in education, as it not only increases engagement but also simplifies the way students learn,” he said.
It has sure been a long journey since 2011 for Raveendran but he said that he hasn’t conquered one per cent of the total education market in India despite the success story.
Going forward, he said that there will be a strong focus to further accelerate its reach and create awareness deep into the country. What bothers him is that the current education system in India is to help children get trained to solve questions but not to ask questions because of the fear of exams and not for the love of learning.
“We need to make learning more fun. The unique combination of media, technology and content has helped us create a holistic learning experience for students,” he said.
The app is free to download and when asked how he makes money, he said that there is a personalised coaching category which charges $200 per year per student. More than 700,000 students are enrolled as paid subscribers. Raveendran wants to offer the app in Englishspeaking markets such as the US, Canada, the UK, Australia with lessons in native accents and he knows that he has a lot of work ahead.