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Byju’s Learning secures $50M from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative & others

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Bangalore-based education tech startup Byju’s Learning has raised $50 million from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Lightspeed Ventures & Times Internet*. With the fresh funding, Byju’s Learning plans to expand internationally within the next year.

Note that the company had previously raised $75 million from Sequoia Capital and Sofina in March this year. It had said then that it would expand its product offerings.

The startup, which was founded in 2008 by Byju Raveendran, offers animated video lessons, online tests with feedback, and a customizable testing/learning module along with an Android and iOS app. It currently offers lessons for students from standard 6 to 12 as well as for CAT, IAS, GRE, and GMAT aspirants.

Currently, the company claims that its mobile app has seen over 5.5 million downloads, and around 250,000 paid annual subscribers. Operating in India and the Middle East as of now, it plans to expand to US, UK and other Commonwealth countries in the future. The company mentions that it has an average engagement rate of 40 minutes per day per user, with over 90% of users renewing their subscriptions.

Recent developments in the education tech space:

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– In May, Google’s internet education program for rural women in India went live in 9 states.

– In March this year, Pune-based Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) launched an accelerator called Eduglid for education technology startups, which provides seed funding of up to Rs 15 lakh in return for a minor stake.

– In January, Amazon India launched Exam Central, under the books department on the website where users can get access to sample question papers, solved papers and articles from academicians for entrance exams.

– In the same month, McGraw Hill Education India (MHE) tied up with Edutor Technologies’ IGNITOR, which provides tablets with educational content, to provide MHE’s Education book catalog in a digital format and distribute across universities and colleges.

– In December2015 Jigsaw Academy, a portal for data analytics courses, raised $3 million in a series A round of funding from Manipal Global Education Services (MaGE),

– In the same month, Gurgaon-based CollegeDekho, an online platform which lists colleges across streams in the country, raised seed funding worth $1 million from GirnarSoft, the parent company of CarDekho.

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– In November 2015 S Chand, the publisher of textbooks and competitive exam material, raised $27 million (Rs 179.2 crore) led by International Finance Corp (Rs 110 crore) and others.

– In the same month, online open course provider Udacity raised $105 million in Series D round of funding led by German media group Bertelsmann and other investors

– In October 2015, Smartivity Labs, a startup which uses augmented reality and robotics for learning, raised $200,000 in seed funding from book publisher S Chand.

– In the same month, Schoolguru, an e-learning company that lets universities launch, run and manage online programs raised $3 million in Series A funding from unnamed HNIs.

*Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama

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