This Thursday, Mark Zuckerburg took to Facebook to announce his first big investment in Asia, under The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which will be going to BYJU, a Education Technology (Learning) startup that focuses on providing high quality, engaging, and accessible education, through their app.
Since their launch last year, the app has already seen phenomenal engagement, with over 3.5 million students on its platform. BYJU makes use of original content, watch-and-learn videos, rich animations and interactive simulations that, as opposed to rote memorization, make learning contextual and visual, not just theoretical. Behind this, is a 500 member strong R&D team working closely together across three specialized verticals: a content creation team drawn from accomplished IIT and IIM graduates, a skilled media production house who transform the content into interactive experiences and a technology team that build an adaptive platform to give each learner a personalized experience.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was launched in 2009 by Facebook founder, and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician + Founder of the Primary School, with the mission to to advance human potential and promote equality. Initially, focus areas will include personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.
On Tuesday, December 1st, 2015, Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg pledged to give 99 percent of their Facebook shares over their lifetimes to support its mission. In a letter to their newborn daughter posted on Facebook, Mark talked more about the couple’s commitment to investing in the next generation and characterizes the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s unique approach to giving: “We must make long term investments over 25, 50 or even 100 years. The greatest challenges require very long time horizons and cannot be solved by short term thinking.”
BYJU raised a capital of $75 Million in March from Sequoia Capital and Sofina, and have reportedly raised another round of $50 Million recently, from existing and other investors(Lightspeed Ventures, and Times Internet).
“We are excited to partner with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to usher in the next stage of growth at BYJU’s. Our vision closely aligns with their vision of advancing human potential and promoting equality. Looking forward to create a revolution in the way millions of students learn,” they said.