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BYJU Is Now Among The World’S Highest Valued Edtech Companies

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India is home to one of the world’s fastest-growing edtech scenes. With an estimated 260 million students enrolled in more than 1.5 million schools and 39,000 colleges, however, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Among India’s hundreds of edtech companies, over the past decade, BYJU has risen above the pack. In fact, it is now one of the world’s highest-valued edtech companies.

BYJU

BYJU’s Mandate

BYJU, named after founder Byju Raveendran, is a learning app. The app offers comprehensive learning programs in STEM subjects for students in 4th to 12th grade. It also offers test prep courses for India’s many competitive exams. If you’re based in North America, the best comparison may be the Khan Academy platform, which offers a similar range of services. But BYJU also has a unique founding story.

Soon after Raveendran graduated from university and started working as an engineer, he wrote the Common Aptitude Test (CAT), which students must take to gain entry to Indian Institute of Management colleges that offer MBA degrees. Raveendran wrote the exam just for fun. He approaches exams like games–as something to crack–and wondered if he could crack the notoriously difficult CAT. To his surprise, he did crack the CAT. He received a 100%. Thinking it was just a coincidence, he wrote the exam again and achieved the same score. Soon, Raveendran was offering courses to students in his own city. As his reputation spread, he also started to travel to nearby cities to offer courses to even larger groups of students hoping to ace the exam. This is how he refined his teaching method. As a trained engineer, however, Raveendran realized that he didn’t need to offer courses in person. Unable to meet the growing demand for his prep courses, he eventually developed and launched BYJU.

BYJU’s Phenomenal Funding Success

Since BYJU was founded back in 2008, the company has been attracting investors. In 2016, its reputation outside of India grew considerably when the company received a $50 million investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. In 2017, BYJU announced another successful funding round when Tencent Holdings put in $40 million. Earlier the same year, the company also received $30 million in a round led by Verlinvest. But none of these funding rounds come even close to BYJU’s most recent announcement.

On December 11, BYJU announced that it had just secured a staggering $540 million in a private equity funding round led by Naspers. With this funding round, BYJUs has now raised a total of $775 million from investors. According to TechCrunch, this takes the company’s valuation up to $4 billion, which makes it one of the most valuable edtech companies in the world. In addition, at $4 billion, BYJU is now India’s fourth highest-valued tech company trailing behind only Paytm, Ola, and OYO.

But this raises an obvious question: What is BYJU planning to do with all its new funding?

Future Plans

As reported in TechCrunch on December 17, with an additional $540 million on hand, BYJU now plans to expand globally. Specifically, the company hopes to push into global English markets, with a focus on young children. Raveendran told TechCrunch that the decision is based on a recognition that “There’s a growing percentage of people wanting to learn English.”

To move into English-language markets more quickly, Raveendran has a clear strategy. As he told TechCrunch, “Over the last 12 months, we’ve scouted for core product acquisitions but went the other way around and decided to build it ourselves.” With the new funding in hand, however, it seems likely that BYJU will be engaging in at least some product-based acquisitions in the near future.

Whether BYJU can break into English-language markets outside India is yet to be seen. What is clear is that the company has already secured its place as one of the world’s most successful edtech unicorns.

posted Jan 7 in EdTech by Mealea

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To enter into the EdTech Landscape, every entrepreneur takes hold of some new goals other than the prior ones. Indeed, being an entrepreneur, stepping into the EdTech Industry isn’t easy. There come across many stages in the way where prospects of the education sector, customers’ selection, and marketplace transform and grant the learning opportunities for Entrepreneurs for the future. Here are a few aspects that make EdTech, the next Big Sector of Business & Education—

How EdTech Is The Next Big Sector

Understand the Education Sector

EdTech provides an in-depth analysis of the education sector so as to understand the immediate needs of both the students and the teachers. Indeed, the education sector is today running at the same pace as the Internet keeping in mind the customized interests of students with education going tech-friendly and students going tech-smarter. Today, students-teachers collaborate through sharing screens, adding peers, making online notes in minutes. If this is not a bigger accomplishment in the literacy sector, then what is?

Stay on top of EdTech Trends

To lose out on the latest EdTech trends is not an option for an entrepreneur which is why EdTech Landscape is something available to study and gain more experience. It is significant because dissimilarity to the trend creates an age of difference in the context of tech-knowledge. The motive can be fulfilled by building a foundation, reassessing technology standards and integration models, and progress innovation. In simple words, EdTech creates an outstanding platform for Entrepreneurs around the world to acquire knowledge and take bigger risks to accomplish.

Create Engaging and Unique Products

User-engagement is the primary source to accomplish your product when it comes to EdTech. Alongside, “uniqueness” of the product helps it come into the spotlight in the marketplace. Make sure, that product grabs the attention of the students & teachers & users around the globe. Keep the product focused on learning and progress. On the part of the instructor, innovation stands out as an essential ingredient here.

Keep vision and end goal in mind

As an Entrepreneur, what must be done is “do whatever it takes, don’t give up.” Giving the assurance of accomplished goal and overcome the current challenge, taste success while figuring out how to fulfil the final goal. Undoubtedly, with every step of success and change in the technology trend, the vision may change, however, the final goal cannot. Pick up every Technology trend to E-Learn and utilize the same to pace towards the completion of End Goal.

Understand the customer and its fear of change

Fear of change exists when technology detects the need of the user’s willingness in the marketplace. An entrepreneur’s job is not only to present technology for effective products in the market but also ensure that it corresponds to the needs of customers. Fluctuating Demand & Supply of products in the market could be consequences of external environment changes. These changes could be based on customers’ finding new ways of comfort, easy products’ access and so on. Make sure, the product is presentable to the customer with maximum benefit and minimum give away (cost).

Smart advertising

Advertising is important for any product if it is important to be seen by the users as well as the competitors. No matter how ground-breaking the product is if it is not in the spotlight and does not grab the attention of the audience, it is not worth it! Exploiting the power of magazines, web pages, social media sites, and digital marketing is valued. There are not social media platforms and real-time platforms where users have no reach. Advertising brings users and the product closer and connects them on the basis of needs and affordability.

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For years, YouTube has been a major platform for educational experiences around the world. Many teachers and professors upload their lectures to the platform. Edtech companies use it to show off their latest products. And more importantly, people with unique knowledge routinely use it to educate learners on specific subjects. It’s no surprise, therefore, that many are using it to learn about learning. There are numerous edtech- and eLearning-focused YouTube channels. The following mark a few of our favourites. 

14 Edtech Youtube Channels To Watch In 2019

Edtech YouTube Channels

ISTE

When it comes to edtech-focused YouTube channels, the International Society for Technology in Education is a good place to start. ISTE functions as a premier membership organization produces the most widely recognized document for standards of technological education, and hosts one of the most popular edtech annual conferences. 

They’ve been YouTubing since 2010, and their videos run the edtech gamut. Their library includes many short videos made by edtech experts on some of the most cogent edtech topics of the day, like OER, mobile devices in the classroom, AI, and personalized learning. They also upload keynote speeches from their annual event, videos supporting their standards, and much more. 

The Edtech Podcast

After launching in February of 2016, The Edtech Podcast is currently on episode #133 and counting. If podcasts are not part of your daily routine, their YouTube channel uploads every episode in video form and also includes footage of the various live shows they record. 

Created and hosted by the U.K.-based Sophie Bailey, the podcast frequently features discussions of emerging edtech and classroom implementation with guests ranging from CEOs to experienced teachers. Before launching the podcast, Bailey worked as head of content at Bett, the annual U.K. trade show and conference.

Ed on Edtech

For most people, education is a specifically local affair. While we have access to educators and learners from around the world, we still go online from the same computer in the same environment with the same technology and data infrastructure day in and day out. 

Dr Edward Tse, therefore, decided that he would go and check out how edtech is deployed in classrooms and other environments around the world. 

Mr Tompkins Ed Tech

The creator knew simply as ‘Mr. Tompkins’ has worked in the past as a math and computer science teacher in the U.K. He knows focuses his energy on ICT Strategic Development at the university level. A tech agnostic, he is both a Microsoft Certified Educator, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and an Apple Teacher. 

Mr Tompkins’ videos are primarily math-related how-tos incorporating the various tools his various tech company certifiers have developed.

E-Learning Uncovered

The product of Artisan E-Learning, this channel is intended primarily for eLearning developers and edtech instructional designers. That said, you don’t need to be writing software from scratch to benefit from these videos. Many, such as ‘Tips for creating Great Sounding Audio in Audacity,’ or ‘Photoshop for Learning: Taking the First Steps,’ target a more general audience and everyday teachers who might be looking to add some flare or polish to their lessons. 

GeoGebra

One of the most powerful and popular math tools on the planet, GeoGebra’s YouTube channel is dedicated almost exclusively to videos explaining the various uses of their software and apps. If you haven’t heard of GeoGebra before, be sure to check out their new AR math simulator along with the 3 part interview we conducted with COO and CFO Stephen Jull earlier this year. 

eLearning Brothers

eLearning Brothers is a company based out of Utah that creates custom eLearning modules, templates, and conducts training as well. Their YouTube channel is fairly wide-ranging and includes short videos by eLearning experts on specific topics, webinars, how-tos, and more. Occasionally they also run a series of instructional videos on their own products as well and often feature work created using their own library of templates.

Texas Instruments Education

When most people hear eLearning or edtech, they don’t immediately think about calculators. Texas Instruments’ YouTube channel, however, has a huge library detailing the advanced math that is possible on their machines. The channel also contains several other videos, such as AP and SAT math test prep, videos from their annual conference, broad discussions of STEM education, webinars, and even a how-to on grant writing. While some might consider calculators a hold over from the 20th century, T.I.’s YouTube channel is decidedly current.

AdobeELearning

Any creative person using digital technology has likely used or considered using some of the software created by Adobe. Many schools provide access to their Creative Suite. This YouTube channel, however, provides a home for educators and instructional designers using their Captivate software and eLearning Suite. These products allow users to author their own eLearning modules and lessons without the hard coding. 

Their videos are almost entirely focused on these Adobe products, but they’re also highly engaging and occasionally hilarious. 

TED-Ed

While TED talks, and especially their franchised TEDx analogues, have devolved in the past several years from amazing perspectives from niche experts around the world to frequent instances of humble bragging, oversimplification, and advertorial-style self-promotion, the TED-Ed YouTube channel is relatively free of these negative qualities. 

These well-produced animated videos can both teach learners about tech or also act as course supplements and good introductory material. Some, like ‘What’s a smartphone made of?’ or ‘How exactly does binary code work?’ could fall into both categories. No videos contain any instances of Bono (literally) pretending to be Jesus

Edtech Conferences

In addition to the channels listed above, many annual edtech, eLearning, and education-focused conferences also regularly update their own channels, often uploading videos of full keynote speeches, workshops, and more. We’ve listed a few of our favourites below. 

SXSW EDU

Possibly the premiere North American tech conference, SXSW EDU throws up most of their typically hour-long talks. While the conference goes far beyond education technology, there’s a good amount of tech in the mix as well. 

ASU + GSV

Arizona State University and the self-described ‘modern merchant bank’ that is Global Silicon Valley might sound like strange bedfellows. Their annual conference goes even further beyond edtech than SXSW EDU, but they also bring together some of the most interesting and innovative education-focused technologists and venture capitalists in the world. 

NY EDTECH WEEK

While the 2018 NY Edtech Week got bumped to June of 2019, the conference notably uploads the pitches startups make to investors, which make for interesting watches/listens. They also upload most talks delivered over the course of the event. 

EdTech Israel

Now in its fourth year, EdTech Israel brings together Israeli tech startups and companies for a two-day event. 

Many more excellent tech conferences put up a couple of videos, but don’t create their own channels. Many others don’t (but should) upload any content from their events. (We’re looking at you ICELW). 

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