In­dia’s e-learn­ing app, Byju, to be of­fered in Ara­bic

Byju’s to open an of­fice with a con­tent cre­ation team in Dubai

Gulf News - - Region -

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.

Ef­fec­tive­ness

“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.

The idea of the app is to rein­vent the class­room.

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