Public & Academic/Edtech/Analysis/ Brainly raises $30m for US push The Polish company wants to be at the forefront of disrupting the $250bn global education market By Maija Palmer 25 July 2019 \Public & Academic German edtech Knowunity, a TikTok for schoolwork, raises €9m Series A extension By Miriam Partington in Berlin 15 February 2023 Public & Academic/Edtech/Analysis/ Brainly raises $30m for US push The Polish company wants to be at the forefront of disrupting the $250bn global education market By Maija Palmer 25 July 2019 Brainly, the peer-to-peer learning network, has raised $30m (€26.9m) in a Series-C funding round led by Naspers, money which it plans to use to push deeper into the US market. Krakow-based Brainly, founded in 2009, is one of a number of startups looking to disrupt the $250bn global market for education. “Our big belief is that education is a market that has yet to be disrupted by technology,” says Michal Borkowski, chief executive and cofounder. Brainly provides a platform where middle and high school students can ask each other for homework help. It has 150m users, mainly in markets such as the US, India, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey, Brazil and Poland. Around 10 to 15% of US students currently use Brainly, but Borkowski, who is based in New York, is keen to extend this dramatically. “We really want to double down on the US market now. Our goal is to extend…access to every one of the 76m US students and beyond, giving them the resources and the tools to succeed and inspire collaborative learning. This funding allows us to do just that.” Brainly is also planning to generate revenue through a freemium model, where basic peer help is free, but students or parents can pay a few dollars a month to get access to higher quality homework answers. “We are still early in our monetisation plans, and we are working on understanding the parent market. We are doing a lot of product testing and trying to understand what makes them willing to pay for the service. The funding will let us go faster on that.” This latest round, which also includes funding from Runa Capital and Manta Ray, brings the amount raised by the company to $68.5m (€61.5m) making it the second best-funded edtech company in Europe, behind only OpenClassRooms of France (which has raised €62.8m). But European edtech fundraising pales in comparison with Asian rivals. Bangalore-based Byju’s has raised a total of $819.8m, while VIPKID, an English language teaching platform based in Beijing, has raised $825.1m. Beijing-based Zuoyebang, which has a peer help platform similar to Brainly’s, has raised $585m. “There are some big success stories coming from Asia,” says Borkowski. He says he is not concerned about competition, but says there may be opportunities for collaboration with Byju’s for example, in which Naspers has also invested. Some 10-15% of US middle and high school students use Brainly. Borkowski also points out that the global education market has plenty of space. “There are about 1bn students worldwide, plus their parents and teachers, so all together it is an area important to at least half of the global population. It is a big opportunity,” he says. Related Articles Polish edtech company Brainly has 150m users – but can it make money? By Maija Palmer Click here to read more The startup helping you learn smarter By Mimi Billing Click here to read more Professor Rose Luckin: how AI in education should work By Layli Foroudi Click here to read more Most Read 1 \Healthtech Is Daniel Ek’s new body scanner worth the hype? Sifted tried it out 2 \Venture Capital VC diversity needs to change — and white men need to take responsibility 3 \Venture Capital New €3.75bn European Investment Fund pot to back late-stage VCs 4 \Sustainability Counteract closes £15m fund for carbon removal solutions 5 \Mobility Was the $5bn that VCs plugged into escooters worth it?