The pandemic has helped online learning firm Byju’s become a decacorn and it is now looking to expand in overseas markets. In India, it plans to introduce more subjects in multiple vernacular languages, along with a new mentoring programme to accelerate growth. The company has raised around $1 billion since January, reflecting the surge in investor interest in Indian edtech startups as remote learning replaced classrooms amid the lockdown, sending the valuation of the company to around $10.8 billion. In an interview, Divya Gokulnath, co-founder and director, Byju’s, spoke about the company’s future plans and the spurt in edtech. Edited excerpts:
Byju’s is now a decacorn and the most valuable edtech startup. What’s next?
Like every business during a crisis, we have adjusted our short-term goals but our long-term vision of making students fall in love with learning remains intact. Our three pillars of growth will be introducing more subjects, introducing learning programmes for more grades and in more Indian languages so children are able to learn effectively even in their mother tongue. This will enable us to strengthen our offerings and penetrate further into India. Given the current demand, we plan on accelerating several launches this year to revolutionize the after-school learning segment.
We’ll be focusing on product development and expansion, both internationally as well as deeper into India. Our recent fundraising is also to finance inorganic growth like full-cash acquisitions. Our vision is to be one of the largest education provider brands in the world.
For expansion in international markets, we have plans to launch our learning programmes aimed at school children in several English-speaking markets. Through WhiteHat Jr., we will introduce math subjects as part of the offering to serve customers in several markets, including Australia, New Zealand, UK, Singapore and Germany. Our vision is to be one of the largest education-provider brands in the world.
Byju’s has seen big growth during the lockdown and raised multiple rounds of funds in 2020. What’s the reason behind this growth?
What is Byju’s’ mentoring programme about? How will this work virtually?
Byju’s has launched a first-of-its-kind mentoring programme for students where every student who subscribes to our programme will get access to a dedicated mentor. These mentors will play the role of counselors, guiding the students through their learning journey by suggesting personalized lessons based on their individual strengths and weaknesses.
This article was first published on livemint.com.