Naspers invests in India's largest edtech company

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 17 Dec 2018
Naspers says the investment will drive BYJU'S team to set new benchmarks for tech-enabled learning products.
Naspers says the investment will drive BYJU'S team to set new benchmarks for tech-enabled learning products.

Naspers says it has led a combination primary and secondary $540 million (R7.7 billion) investment in BYJU'S.

BYJU'S is India's largest education company and the creator of the most popular K-12 learning app. Launched in 2015, BYJU'S learning app offers personalised learning programmes for school learners in grades four to 12 in India.

In a statement, Naspers says a significant portion is also being contributed by the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

According to the company, the investment will drive the BYJU'S team to further innovate, explore and set new benchmarks for tech-enabled learning products. The company has plans for international market expansion and will make bold investments in technology that will help to further personalise learning for students.

The investment in BYJU'S also represents Naspers' commitment to India across multiple sectors, and the company's ongoing investment in entrepreneurs that are building leading technology companies in this high-growth market, notes the statement.

Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of BYJU'S, says: "We are happy to have prominent and long-term partners like Naspers and CPPIB on board with us. This partnership will strengthen our ability to deliver on our vision to build the world's largest education company. India has the largest population attending primary school in the world and Indian households are willing to invest a lot in their children's education because a good education is viewed as the best path to success. I believe the importance of quality education amongst the entire population in India fuelled our ability to create an engaging and high-impact learning app.

"While near-term profitability is important for us, as a company our main focus continues to be on long-term sustainable growth. The edtech industry is undergoing massive shifts; students today want to learn through engaging and interactive methods. We are pioneering 'better learning for tomorrow' with technology as an enabler and we have been working towards making students active learners. It is only through active learning that we can prepare our youth for jobs of tomorrow."

Today, Naspers is one of the largest technology investors in the world, with operations and investments in more than 120 countries and markets. Its portfolio spans technology sectors as far-reaching as online classifieds, payments and fintech, online food delivery, online travel, social and Internet services, education, and health.

Speaking about the investment, Russell Dreisenstock, head of international investments for Naspers Ventures, pointed out: "Naspers partners with high-potential companies that are tackling big societal needs like education, which represents a significant sector ripe for disruption across the globe."

Dreisenstock, who will be joining the BYJU'S board of directors, added: "With the largest school-age population in the world and a growing middle-class with the willingness to commit significant resources towards quality education for their children, BYJU'S is perfectly positioned to provide an effective supplemental education solution for students across India. We partnered with BYJU'S because we believe the company's success in India will translate across borders in any country where students are looking for an innovative and engaging form of education beyond the classroom."