Brainly raises $30m led by Naspers to expand ops in India, other markets

A logo sits on display inside the headquarters of Napsters Ltd., at the Media24 Ltd. office complex in Cape Town, South Africa. Photographer: Halden Krog/Bloomberg

South African tech conglomerate Naspers has led a $30-million funding round for Poland-based Brainly, a peer-to-peer learning community for students, parents and teachers, to help it expand its user base in India and other markets.

Other investors who took part in the round included Runa Capital and Manta Ray, Brainly said in a statement. The latest investment brings its total funding to $68.5 million to date.

The startup said it will use the funding proceeds to enhance user experience and to further develop its platform. In addition, it will deploy funds to further expand its user base in India, one of its key markets.

“Our goal is to extend that access to academic help to every student in the world, including India, giving them the resources and the tools to succeed while inspiring collaborative learning. This funding allows us to do just that,” Brainly CEO and co-founder Michał Borkowski said.

“We also plan to utilise these funds to expand our offerings for the Indian community of students, parents, and teachers, by providing a platform to discuss and study in other local languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Telugu, and Punjabi, to name a few,” he added.

Founded in 2009, Brainly allows students to connect with their peers, subject matter experts, and professional educators to discuss their subjects and seek answers to tricky questions.

The platform claims to have grown to 150 million monthly active users across 35 countries. In addition to the US, Brainly’s largest communities are in Russia, Indonesia, India, Turkey, Brazil, and Poland.

“We have been impressed by Brainly’s growth over the past 10 years, particularly in the U.S. and high-growth markets like India, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil,” said Larry Illg, CEO of Naspers Ventures. “At Naspers, we back companies seeking to address big societal needs like education, helping them fulfill their vision with the ultimate aim of achieving global scale.”

In 2016 and 2017, Brainly closed a $15 million Series B funding and a $14 million Series B-1 round led by Naspers and Kulczyk Investments, respectively. Previous investors have included General Catalyst Partners, Point Nine Capital, Runa Capital, and Learn Capital.