IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced its investment in BYJU’s, India’s largest ed-tech company today. This partnership will enable BYJU’s to further their plans to make quality education accessible for students across the nation as well as in international markets.
Creator of India’s largest K-12 app – BYJU’s is pioneering the ‘Better Learning’ space by enabling students to become self-paced learners. Offering students across geographies access to high quality teachers, the app is democratizing personalized learning for students across grades.
Ruchira Shukla, Regional Lead, Venture Capital Investments at IFC, said – “Education is an important sector for IFC given its critical role in driving economic and social development in the country. Our investment in BYJU’s will help provide affordable and quality education to students through effective use of technology innovation to drive superior learning outcomes.”
“IFC’s venture capital strategy in the EduTech space is focused on technology enabled learning platforms for academic improvement, skill development platforms as well as supplemental and low cost education solutions. BYJU’s is the market leader in the 4-12 segment offering engaging content and building concept clarity by identifying and addressing students’ learning gaps”, Shukla added.
Talking about creating a ‘one-of-its-kind’ learning product for students, Byju Raveendran, Founder & CEO of BYJU’s said, “The investment from IFC recognizes our commitment to create world-class learning programs that will make learning accessible for students across geographies. Today, almost 70% of our users come from outside the top 10 cities. It is encouraging to see increased adoption from 1700+ towns and cities in the country, but there is still a long way to go before we call this a learning revolution. To further accelerate our reach in the deeper parts of India, we are planning to add channel partners across the country.”
“Learning through technology triggers changes in how students consume content. It offers them newer ways to explore concepts and initiate learning on their own. We see great potential for products like this globally as well.” Byju further added.
India has the largest K-12 education system in the world, with over 260 million enrollments and is estimated to grow by 30 percent by 2022. The one-size-fits-all approach, restricted access to quality education and learning driven by fear of exams have been the main reasons why India consistently ranks low in all global education assessments. Technology can play a key role in addressing these issues and making education more engaging and accessible. BYJU’s has developed learning programs that address these needs along with making students love learning.
IFC’s venture capital team has also invested in Bridge International Academies, the world’s largest chain of affordable nursery and primary schools, and Coursera, an education technology company offering massive open online courses. India is IFC’s top country exposure, globally. IFC’s committed portfolio in
India is over $5 billion as of June 30, 2016. In FY16, IFC committed $1.1 billion in new investments in India.
In September 2016, BYJU’s raised $50 million to expand its learning app to more students. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), which was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan co-led the investment with Sequoia Capital, along with Sofina, Lightspeed Ventures & Times Internet Ltd. This was the first investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in Asia.