'India can provide teachers to the world, just like software engineers,' says Byju Raveendran as he plans to take his $11 billion edtech startup to US shores

'India can provide teachers to the world, just like software engineers,' says Byju Raveendran as he plans to take his $11 billion edtech startup to US shores
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  • BYJU’S is now looking to conquer bigger international markets, starting with the US.
  • Speaking on the sidelines of the Business Insider Global Trends Festival 2020, Byju Raveendran said that just like how India provides software engineers to the world, we can also provide teachers.
  • While White Hat Jr currently offers only coding, Byju added that they would soon add mathematics to its offerings.
The world’s most valued edtech startup, BYJU’S, is now aiming for global domination. After riding the wave of online learning in India during the coronavirus lockdown, BYJU’S is now looking to conquer bigger international markets, starting with the US.

“I strongly believe that having a strong primary market like India helps us create the right products and there is an opportunity to take this ahead and help students learn outside India,” said Byju Raveendran, founder of the $11 billion BYJU’S, on the sidelines of the Business Insider Global Trends Festival 2020.

He added that just like how India provides software engineers to the world, we could also provide teachers, especially given the current scenario and the push for online learning.

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Riding on acquisitions for international expansion

BYJU’S isn’t going into uncharted territory by itself. Instead it has made acquisitions that will help the edtech startup walk into new countries with an existing user base.

“We are not starting from zero here; we have made two good acquisitions which will help us accelerate our international expansion plans. One is Osmo which is a Palo Alto-based company, they are expected to close this year with a $100 million revenue. And the other is White Hat Jr, where we will be using their model of having teachers in India helping students around the world,” said Byju.

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While White Hat Jr currently offers only coding, Byju said they would soon add mathematics to its offerings.

Byju’s acquisition spree

Acquired companyExpertiseAmount paid by BYJU’S
OsmoAugmented Reality game maker and learning platform for kids$120 million
White Hat JrCoding startup for kids$300 million
LabInAppLab simulation startupUndisclosed
TutorVistaOnline tutoring in the USUndisclosed
Math AdventuresActivity-based math learning platformUndisclosed
VidyarthaAssessment platformUndisclosed

New product launch

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Taking the White Hat Jr approach of teachers from India teaching students across the world, Byju said they will soon be creating a product for teachers that will help them teach better. “You will see us launching this and scaling it in English speaking markets,” he said.

White Hat Jr is already at a $200 million run rate and Byju hopes to build on that. “Our expertise is in asynchronous teaching, their expertise is in synchronous and one-on-one models. From a format perspective, the best thing is to find the balance – synchronous learning will bring in schedule, asynchronous will bring personalised learning. You will see us integrating at the platform level and bringing both the formats together,” he said.

And which brand name will take over – White Hat Jr or BYJU’S? Byju says that is a topic still under discussion. “There will be a parent brand name and the subsidiaries with their individual brands. We are figuring out how we should brand it in the new markets,” he said.

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EXCLUSIVE: BYJU’S renewal rates stand at 86% – the founder of the $11 billion edtech startup shares how they cracked the code for repeat subscriptions

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