With Byju’s Classes, the edtech platform forays into online tutoring

With Byju’s Classes, the edtech platform forays into online tutoring
Photo Credit: Thinkstock
29 Jun, 2020

Online learning platform Byju’s has rolled out a tutoring programme called Byju’s Classes to offer scheduled online classes and live doubt solving sessions to students.

The programme is available for students from classes 4 to 12 and for those preparing for competitive exams such as JEE and NEET, the company said in a statement.

“Our new product, Byju’s Classes, will offer what every student and parent needs today -- access to classes from the best teachers in the country, instant doubt resolution and a personalised one-on-one mentor to guide them along their learning journey,” Divya Gokulnath, co-founder of the Bengaluru-based company, said.

Students can choose weekday or weekend batches to attend scheduled online mathematics and science classes in tune with their school curriculum, the statement said. They will also be given home assignments and monthly tests, it added.

A dedicated mentor and counsellor will be assigned to each student to evaluate the pupil’s learning requirements, it said. “Mentors will also be in charge of the student’s progress reports and recommend next steps through virtual or telephonic parent-teacher meetings,” the statement added.

“Online learning is not about directly converting offline learning online -- it’s about using technology as an enabler to make learning engaging and effective. We strongly believe that a personalised and tech-enabled learning offering like Byju’s Classes can truly stand out in an otherwise fragmented after-school tutoring market and offer students a viable solution to strengthen the ideas and concepts taught in school,” Gokulnath said.

In the live course segment, Byju’s will compete with Vedantu, Unacademy and Gradeup. While Vedantu and Unacademy recently raised funds from global venture capital investors, Gradeup is backed by Times Internet, a subsidiary of media house Bennett Coleman (BCCL). 

Byju’s foray into online tutoring comes amid reports of its ongoing talks to acquire Doubtnut, a multilingual instant doubt clearing app.

Rival Vedantu recently invested $2 million in doubt-solving app Instasolv. The investment is in exchange for full rights to acquisition.

Byju’s last raised funds from Bond, the growth equity investment firm founded by former Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker. Last week’s fund infusion values Byju’s at a little over $10 billion. 

In February, it raised $200 million from New York-based private equity firm General Atlantic, a returning investor in the company. The round valued the company, post money, at $8.2 billion at the time. Earlier in January, it raised a similar amount from New York headquartered alternative investments firm Tiger Global Management.

Early investors in the nearly 10-year-old company include Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed India, Aarin Capital, Verlinvest as well as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg backed Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Founded in 2011 by Byju Raveendran and run by Think and Learn, the company catered to students from classes 4 to 12 in 2015. It subsequently added programmes for competitive exams such as JEE, NEET and IAS. 

The firm claims that its flagship product, The Learning App, has over 57 million registered students and 3.5 million annual paid subscriptions. It has now made content on the learning app free for students in view of schools being shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic.