Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg-backed e-learning startup Byju’s is planning to launch its learning programmes in regional languages this year to penetrate deeper into the regional market beyond metro and tier one cities and enhance user adoption.
“We are working on creating learning programs in regional languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Malayalam etc., and we plan to roll them out within 2019,” its Founder and CEO, Byju Raveendran told Financial Express Online.
Byju’s, which focuses on the K12 segment, has over 30 million students registered on its app out of which 2 million are the paid subscribers. However, a majority 75 per cent of its users come from cities and towns beyond India’s 10 major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai etc.
“It is encouraging to see increased adoption and high engagement from more than 1,700 towns and cities in the country, but there is still a long way to go,” Raveendran said.
In fact, Byju’s, which counts Tencent and IFC among its other marquee investors, recently launched its programmes in the Hindi language to capture the semi-urban and rural market. However, the number of Hindi users added to the platform isn’t disclosed yet.
“Products in Hindi were launched recently to accelerate our growth and reach. The availability of our programs in multiple vernacular languages will make quality learning accessible for children in every nook and corner of the country,” Raveendran added.
Growing at 100% month-on-month, claimed Raveendran, for the last 3 years, Byju’s posted Rs 520 crore in revenue for the last financial year. The company is aiming to triple that amount to Rs 1,400 crores in FY19.
Byju’s has a total headcount of 3,200 employees and has raised $784 million across eight funding rounds, as per deals tracker Crunchbase. In its last fundraising round, the startup secured $540 million from Naspers along with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and General Atlantic. The round valued Byju’s at $3.6 billion.
India’s online education market is expected to shot up from around 1.6 million users in 2016 and $247 million market size to around 9.6 million users and $1.96 billion, said a KPMG and Google study Online Education in India: 2021.