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BYJU’S: Asia’s rising EdTech gem

Gireeshkumar Balan

BYDelhi (India), December 26, 2016: These are exhilarating days of growth for EdTech across Asia and BYJU’S from India is the first EdTech Company from Asia which attracts a fair investment of $50million from Face Book’s Mark Zuckerberg.  Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, is the head quarter for BYJU’S which has turned math and science learning into a fun through its mobile app.

Apart from Zuckerberg, a number of Venture Capital and Private Investment companies had invested in BYJU’S including Aarin Capital, Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Times Internet and Light Speed Ventures.  So far, BYJU’S has raised a whopping $155 million. Still, bigger investment talks are in the pipeline.

EdTech is the sunrise sector in education where a lot of VC funding is happening right now. All these investors are looking forward to technology-enabled learning platforms for academic improvement, as well as low-cost education solutions and obviously, BYJU’S is their first choice. To know about BYJU’S low-cost education solution, look at this statistics: BYJU’S charges only Rs 40,000 for a two-year subscription for IIT-JEE (a famous entrance test for admission to IITs, India’s most prestigious Engineering colleges) entrance test material, while other private tutorials charge around 1.2 lakh per year.

What is EdTech?

Ed-Tech or Education Technology is the use of technology for facilitating learning. Ed Tech uses several platforms to do this. Among these, very common are computer-based training, online learning (e-learning), and m-learning (where mobile technologies are used).  In Asia, EdTech is considered as an important sector, given its critical role in driving economic and social development.

In Asia, the main areas where Edtech start-ups give focus are: adaptive learning platforms, social learning networks,  vocational MOOCs, exam platforms,  test preparation companies, after-school tutoring etc.  EdTech start-ups have partly been spurred by the success of TutorVista(, an India-based business targeting the U.S. market, 25-34-year-olds that was sold to Pearson (for hundreds of millions of dollars.

While after-school tutoring is an important sector for EdTech companies in China whereas the competitive examination is a big mover In India. This is where the invariable focus of  BYJU’s.

EdTech and Asia

Why Venture Capital companies show keen interest to invest in EdTech companies in Asia?

  1. Asia is home to 60% of the world’s population, around 4.4billion people;
  2. There are over 600million K-12 students, which is 10 times more than in the US
  3. The share of household expenditure spent on education in Asia far outweighs the US

First, Asia’s education markets dwarf American levels by a magnitude of 10 times the number of K-12 enrollments at over 600 million. According to an OECD report, of 25-34-year-oldswith a tertiary education in the world by 2020, Asia will account for well over 55% of them, with China and India accounting for 29% and 12% of degree holders, respectively (notably, the US is predicted to lag behind India at 11%). Second, Asia is now the fastest-growing e-learning market in the world with outright leadership in a number of key areas, including games-based, mobile and social-based learning. In Asia, the Venture capital activity reached a record $14.2 billion in 2014. Corporate investors such as Xiaomi, Alibaba and CITIC , Wipro and Benesse have already invested heavily  in various EdTech start-ups.

Some big  EdTech start-ups in Asia are :

KnowRe and KungFu Math(adaptive learning platforms)

Kelase, Zenius, Brainlyand ClassDo(  social learning networks)

Uniquedu, Guokr, Geek College, and DeltaViet(vocational MOOCs)

Rankjunction(; exam platform)

QLL, RevoTech(early education groups) and Rockit Online(test preparation companies)

Asia will account for 23% of the self-paced e-learning market (estimated $53 billion revenues worldwide) by 2018 and seven of the world’s top ten fastest growing e-learning markets: Vietnam, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.

Who is behind BYJU’S?

Byju Raveendran, a young IT engineer from Kerala, India is the eponymous founder of BYJU’S. When it was founded in 2007, BYJU’S was a test preparation platform helping CAT aspirants to crack the exam by understanding the concepts behind the questions.  But a a mobile app which was launched last year changed the fate of BYJU’S.  It saw over 5.5 million downloads and 2, 50, 000 paid annual subscribers within a year of its launch. The app helps with learning programmes for students in classes 4 to 12 and for various competitive exams of India like JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, GRE, and GMAT. BYJU’S is now a giant in the Indian education technology space, teaching predominantly math and science concepts to kids from classes 4-12 along with test prep for several entrance exams.

BYJU’S with a global dream

TV Mohandas Pai, the former Infosys CFO and the founder of Aarin Capitalwhich contributed first funding to BYJUS’s said:  “Byju is a natural genius. Among all the hundreds of EdTech startups in India, Byju Raveendran is the only one to have cracked the problem and built up scale”.

With over 4 million free app downloads and 1,60,000 paid users across platforms, Byju’s is only growing bigger, claiming a 15 percent increase in students month-on-month.  Byju’s is expected to use the investments to expand domestically. His next move is to expand into the international markets.  For that he has to include more innovative material for younger children and more subjects too. Once it is ready, BYJU’S will wear a global face.

BYJU’S: Asia’s rising EdTech gem Reviewed by on . Gireeshkumar Balan Delhi (India), December 26, 2016: These are exhilarating days of growth for EdTech across Asia and BYJU’S from India is the first EdTech Comp Gireeshkumar Balan Delhi (India), December 26, 2016: These are exhilarating days of growth for EdTech across Asia and BYJU’S from India is the first EdTech Comp Rating: 0
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