Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd. popularly known as Byju’s has made a significant impact on the Ed-tech world, created by Byju Raveendran. Byju learning app is reinventing the ways of learning in today’s era of smartphones. Today, it is one of the world's most valued EdTech companies with a valuation of $10.5 Billion.
Here is the chronology of events that led to the creation of this Indian Decacorn
- 2009 – Byju Raveendran started online video-based coaching for CAT.
- 2011 – Registered a company called Think & Learn focusing on the K-12 segment.
- 2012 – Think & Learn awarded as fastest-growing tech companies in India under Deloitte Technology Fast 50
- 2013 – Byju raised $9 million from Aarin Capital in Series A round.
- 2014 – Company launched a tablet learning program for competitive exams and grades eight to 12th.
- 2015 – Think and Learn secured $25 million in Series B round led by Sequoia Capital
- 2015 – Introduced Byju’s learning app and more than two million students came on the app in three months of launch.
- 2016 – Raised $75 million in Series C round led by Sequoia Capital and Sofina.
- 2016 – Secured Series D round of $50 million from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – the philanthropic initiative of Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan. Paid subscribers stood at more than .25 million.
- 2016 – Adds Series E round of $15 million led by International Finance Corporation
- 2017 – Acquired learning guidance platform for students Vidyartha to boost its personalized learning products.
- 2017– Reached valuation of $600 million with an additional $30 million in Series F from Verlinvest, a family office based in Brussels.
- 2017 – Became a case study at Harvard Business School to illustrate how through technology Byju’s has been impacting learning among students.
- 2017– Acquired TutorVista and Edurite from Pearson to expedite international expansion in US.
- 2017 – Byju’s values at around $670 million and access to around 2,000 teachers connected with TutorVista globally including US, China, Australia, UK, etc, apart from education content in the form of CDs and DVDs that Edurite operates in.
- 2017 – The company earned INR 260 crore in revenues
- 2017 – Signed Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan as it's brand ambassador
- 2018 – Turned unicorn with a valuation over $1 billion as per online reports.
- 2019 - Byju’s turns profitable, records net profit of Rs 20 crore in FY19
- 2020 – Witnessed a surge in its popularity due to COVID-19.
- 2020 - Byju’s become a Decacorn, raised $400 Mn at $10 Bn valuation
How BYJU’s is solving problems of Education Industry
The conventional mode of learning emphasized more on theory instead of practical application. Students had difficulty in finding and accessing high-quality educators and modern modes of learning. Even today exams are the reason students study and not because they are eager or enjoying the process. Due to COVID-19, it has become even more difficult to get access to teachers via a conventional mode of learning.
With time the education system is evolving with more students having access to smartphones, laptops, and internet connectivity. Learning is not limited by the geographical horizon and Byju’s has taken advantage of this change. One can also argue that it has functioned as a catalyst to bring this change.
According to a joint report by Google and KPMG, India's online education industry is expected to grow almost eight times to hit US$ 1.96 billion by 2021, with the number of paid users rising six-fold from 1.6 million now to 9.6 million.
This ed-tech giant is breaking the old-rules of education and training students not only to solve questions but also to ask questions. With the help of the latest digital technologies, they are developing programs to make education fun and easily accessible to students irrespective of their location. If you have internet connectivity and a smartphone, then you have access to BYJU’s learning program. Using quality content, modern technology, and media tools company has created a holistic learning experience.
Transformative features of BYJU’s
Here is how the company has transitioned with the amalgamation of technologies, high-quality content, national-level teachers, and media utility in their app.
Empowering teachers to teach better
Think and Learn claims to inculcate active learning for students. Therefore, their teacher hiring process includes a round for screening teaching and engaging capabilities of a teacher. They arm their teaching staff with the latest technology. They use a combination of the teacher’s lectures and animation in their lessons to make classes interesting and graspable.
With so much information around, it is important to keep students interested in the lesson on the screen. With the combination of experienced teachers, engaging animation and the right format, this app ensures that learner is receiving the best possible tools for studying.
Age-appropriate methods of teaching
A seven-year-old kid’s learning preferences are different from a fourteen-year-old teenager. The company has spent time in deciding and producing the right format for different age groups and lessons. It is not one size fits all. A balanced combination of lectures, animation, and exercises have been created to ensure ideal learning for each child. BYJU’s even have separate apps for different age groups. We will discuss this in more detail later.
Conceptual videos are driven by big ideas instead of being subject-specific content. This not only relates the subject topic with real-life applications but also makes it extremely interesting. Relatable is memorable and encourages active engagement. Conceptual videos differentiate BYJU’s from its competitors and make it an example of a modern learning experience.
Subjective, Objective and Adaptive Tests
The company understands that each child/ learner is different and so is their grasping pattern. To make sure that a student has understood the lesson well, they have multiple types of tests. The results of these tests are also used to personalize the learning journey of each learner. Students can also get a live session with teachers if they are struggling with any lesson. The company utilizes a learning journey and other data to improve their product further.
In the majority of cases, parents need to be convinced by the effectiveness of using this app for their child’s education. Byju's learning app realized the concerns early on and have a parental tracking feature on their app. They have launched ‘The Parent Connect’ app to provide real-time updates, child’s achievements, test performance and suggest actions to the parents and help them in staying involved with a child’s progress.
BYJU’s – Highlighting tech in the EdTech
Inculcating Artificial Intelligence
In 2019, Think and Learn acquired a Palo Alto-based company – Osmo. Osmo is in the business of developing educational games for young kids. This acquisition deal fetched Byju’s a whole group of experts in artificial intelligence and machine learning under the leadership of Osmo’s co-founder Pramod Sharma.
With the help of AI experts, the company has brought personalization to a new level. Tailoring lesson plan and test modes as per the learning graph of students ensure that learners’ needs are being fulfilled. The other area which has been impacted by the utilization of artificial intelligence is the level of engagement. Customization helps learners connect with the subject.
Using Data to help learners learn
For AI and machine learning, one of the fundamental requirements is data. That can be acquired only by a platform with a lot of users. With more than 35 million registered students on its platform, BYJU’s has enough data to analyze multiple things like categorizing students in diverse ways including the way they prefer to learn, what arouses their interest, and so on. The company use Amazon Redshift for analyzing data. They use this tool and a team of experts to understand and improve the content library. It helps them in finding the most impactful as well as least effective content for any class or subject.
BYJU’s uses data collected from the app as the primary information, with logged-in web usage to add to it, for enhancing the user experience. The interactions of the user with websites, emails, etcetera are monitored by a separate system that is used for enhancing marketing automation as well as behavior analysis. Data analytics have helped BYJU’s in getting an edge over its competitors and becoming the world’s leading ed-tech company.
Developing a learning graph by using personalization engine
Personalization engine is considered the heart of the company’s product. Whenever a student starts its learning journey, he/ she begins to create a path of progress. This is also known as developing a learning graph. At the very beginning, the app creates an extensive learning profile for the user. This profile includes a graphical representation of their activities and progress throughout the journey. BYJU’s use these graphs to personalize users’ experience based on their needs, strengths, and weaknesses. This graph is analyzed at a microscopic level to help students learn more smartly and easily.
Targeted apps for reaching the right audience
Byju's the learning app is reaping the advantage of personalizing lessons and learning experience for its users. Unlike other educational mobile apps, BYJU’s does not have a single app for all users. They have segregated their product into different apps. Here is the list:
BYJU'S – The Learning App
This is one of their most popular products. This app offers comprehensive learning programs for Math and Science for students in classes from 4th to 12th standard. It also has preparation courses for multiple competitive exams including NEET, JEE, and IAS. The app personalizes learning based on each student’s pace and style of learning. The updated version of this app also offers free live classes by some of India’s best teachers. Students have the freedom to choose their preferred subject and topic and book free online classes. The company claims that this app aims to make everyone fall in love with learning.
Unique Selling Points of this App
- This app follows a simple yet effective pattern of learning, testing, analyzing, and revising.
- Engaging video lessons and personalized learning journeys have been designed by BYJU’s research and development team.
- The app provides chapter-wise tests to suit the digital learning needs of every student.
- With the help of big data, the app runs an in-depth analysis of the learning path and tests adopted by the user. Students receive a detailed analysis of their progress. This helps them in improving.
- Each module provides practice sessions and revisions for students to improve their understanding of subjects. Practice session offers three modes of verifying their knowledge. Warm-up, run, and sprint mode for every concept. This allows students to learn at their desired pace.
- For the competitive exam preparation, the app offers tips and tricks by the toppers of those exams. The app is continuously updated with the latest content including current affairs videos and quizzes.
BYJU’s - Think and Learn Tutor+
This app is designed for premium users of BYJU’s for learners to get direct help from the teachers in real-time. It is one of the latest products launched by the company. It allows on-demand and pre-scheduled sessions for live interaction with teachers.
Unique Selling Points of this App
- Students can clear doubts anywhere and anytime.
- Students have an opportunity to understand concepts, discuss topics and solve problems together with their tutors.
- Students can revise lessons and take practise tests with tutors to excel in their exams.
- This app has some of the best teachers to help students with their learning process and progress.
- Students get to select the topic and attend a pre-scheduled class to study the topic in a live class.
BYJU’s The Parent Connect App
Nowadays parents are actively involved in their child’s learning progress. They prefer to stay notified on their kid’s activities and play a role in their growth. To help parents stay updated with the activities of their child, BYJU’s has The Parent Connect App.
Unique Selling Points of this App
- It allows parents to have a better study plan for their child by providing in-depth progress for each subject at the chapter level. Test results and practice performance is also shared with parents.
- Parents also receive a glance through recent achievements by their child.
- Using visual aid, the parent connects the app also shares a graphical representation of the amount of time a child is spending on the BYJU’S learning app on any subject.
- Suitable actions are also being suggested for each subject depending on the progress and performance of the child in each chapter.
Disney BYJU'S Early Learn
Learning begins early. Parents are looking for ways to help their kids become smart at an early stage. However, the way kids learn at this stage is different from older kids. Therefore, Think and Learn has launched ‘Byju’s early learning app for K.G. and classes 1, 2, and 3 in collaboration with Disney. With this app, learning is fun, engaging, and comprehensive.
Unique Selling Points of this App
- It offers personalized experience by customizing smart interactive journeys that seek to adapt to individual learning patterns for young minds.
- Features Disney’s timeless stories and characters, including Disney Princess, Lion King, Toy Story, Frozen, and more.
- The app contains 1000s of animated videos, games, stories, and interactive quizzes.
- Gamification of education to inspire curiosity.
- Exploratory learning activities and digitally-enabled worksheets (learn by doing) that aid real-time practice and offer immediate feedback.
- A state-of-the-art parental reporting system that offers detailed live progress reports.
- Users can experience the impact of advanced technology on learning. This app has been meticulously designed by the in-house R&D team of Byju’s.
BYJU’S App - Class 4 & 5
This app focuses on clearing the concepts of Mathematics and Science for students of class 4 & 5. It offers a great combination of India’s best teachers, a blend of one-of-a-kind games, simulations, quizzes, and engaging videos. It covers the complete Math and Science syllabus for the students of CBSE ICSE, State Boards, IGCSE, and more.
Unique Selling Points of this App
- Engaging Videos explaining math and science concepts, created with the help of national-level teachers and animators.
- The app motivates firsthand learning by using simulating games, interactive puzzles, and quizzes.
- Thousands of practice and test questions designed as gameplay.
- Consistent reward system for motivation.
- Coverage of the whole syllabus divided into different lessons and concepts.
- Feedback and development reports of parents to track a child’s progress and proficiency.
- Uniquely customized lessons, questions, and games as per child’s requirement.
- Ad-free learning experience.
- This app boasts of its proven results, where 93% of the parents reported an improvement in their children’s grades using the application.
The BYJU’S approach combines innovative technology, data science, world-class teachers, and proven pedagogical methods to deliver personalized learning, feedback, and assessment for students. The company has now the necessary means and experience of using modern technology in an optimized manner. It is developing a new model of the education system by employing Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, computer vision, and cloud-based analytics. With this app, children absorb the culture of learning on their own instead of being spoon-fed. BYJU’s and other educational apps are reinventing the process of education in the age of mobile devices.
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