It is not manually possible for the teacher to take care of every student while every student has his own pace of learning. Thankfully, to fill this gap, ed-tech sector is growing fast enough. When it comes to ed-tech sector in India, one name that we surely can’t afford to miss is Byju’s. The ed-tech firm was established by an engineer in 2011. He is none other than Byju Raveendran whose passion for teaching led him to start Byju’s. His passion and vision made his firm a unicorn startup and the world’s most valued edtech company. Byju’s is an online tutoring and coaching firm that runs on a freemium model.
Byju’s parent company is ‘Think and Learn Pvt Ltd’. The prime objective of Byju’s is to provide coaching by means of online video lectures for students of class 1 to class 12. Also, it aims to offer coaching for people who prepare for competitive exams like IIT- JEE, NEET, CAT, GRE, and GMAT. In the year, Byjus- the Learning app was launched. It has been a huge success since then. Across the globe, it is used by more than 15 million students and has 9,00,000 paid subscribers. Rather than the traditional culture of spoon-feeding, the app helps the students to learn on their own.
When it comes to their teaching approach, it combines the reinvention of learning, world-class teachers, demonstrated pedagogical methods and personalized learning.
As per the Bengaluru-based ed-tech platform, it has raised a new round of funding. Byju’s raised money from the first-ever female-founded VC firm Bond. The current estimation of Byju’s stands at $10.5 billion, as per some reports. Byju’s has now become the second most valued startup from India after this fundraise. It has edged ahead of the OYO Rooms. The platform has seen tremendous growth the last year. It has now more than 57 million registered students, over 35 lakh paid subscribers, and annual renewal rates as high as 85 percent.
Byju’s acquired WhiteHat Jr., an edtech startup, for $300 million for an all-cash deal on August 2020. Apart from this, in September 2020, Byju’s acquired LabInApp (a startup that provides lab-like simulations for science students on a mobile app).
How was Byju’s Started
Born in 1980 in Azhikode, Kerala, Byju Raveendran is a B.Tech (mechanical engineering) from Government Engineering College in Kannur, Kerala. He was working in a multinational shipping firm as a service engineer before starting Byju’s. However, his passion lied in teaching which later inspired him to start Byju’s. Apart from this, Byju Raveendran is also a proficient sports person who played six diverse sports including cricket, table tennis, football, badminton, among others at University level. Though he never joined any IIM, Byju cleared CAT twice with 100 percentile.
While he was working, he started to help his friends in cracking the CAT exam, an entrance exam for getting into the IIMs. Once, to test himself, he himself appeared for the exam and got 100 percentile. However, he did not join any of the IIMs but started teaching students for their mathematics exams.
He began taking maths workshops for free in the initially. Gradually, after gaining confidence in his teaching skills, he started charging. He got so famous at one point of time in his career that in a single workshop more than 20000 students participated. He began recording videos of the workshop that he took in the year 2009. His former students who graduated from IIMs came up to him saying that he should begin Byju’s classes. And this is how ‘Think and Learn Pvt Ltd’ was started to create content for school students. He launched Byju’s – The Learning App in 2015. The app was downloaded by more than 5.5 million people in the first year itself.
Business Model and Revenue Model
The modus operandi of Byju’s is based on a freemium business model. This means that they offer their customers both complementary and extra-cost (premium) services. On their application or website, the company asks for the details of the students and offers them a free 15 days trial. One has to buy the courses from Byju’s after the free trial. And that is how the freemium business model works. For its subscribers, it offers one to one mentoring and also provides feedback to the child’s parents. Byju’s also offers classroom coaching in the city of Noida, Gurgoan and nearby places.
Since its initial phase, Byju’s attracted and appealed many investors. Byju’s became the first company in Asia to receive funding from Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative in the year 2016. It is a combined initiative by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. Byju’s raised $500 million as Fresh Financing Round from Silver lake, a U.S. based priate equity fund in September 2020.
As a startup, Byju’s is a very innovative concept and has attained huge success in the market. It follows rigorous advertising strategies. The brand ambassador of Byju’s is Shahrukh Khan. So far, the company has so far seized the Indian market very well and has made its presence in the Middle East as well. Now it is aspiring to capture markets in the United Kingdom, South Africa, the United States, and other global markets. Byju’s acquired US-based learning platform Osmo in January 2019 to expand its footprints in the USA. To launch its early learning app for classes 1-3, the company also tied up with Disney.