This NYC Startup Raised $15M to Help Students Be More Resourceful



The collective unconscious, the term coined by Carl Jung to describe the shared element of the human mind is an interesting idea to ponder about, but pales in comparison to what can be accomplished by using our collective consciousness. And what better way to take advantage of everyone else’s mind than by using online forums to help us get ahead of the game at school. With Brainly, you are accessing an online social community where you can post whatever material you need help with and expect to get real people to save you time on your studying. The platform is available in 35 different countries using 12 different languages and is finally putting our collective knowledge to good use.

Today, we sit down with the team at Brainly to learn more about online learning space through this medium as well as discuss the most recent round of funding.

Who were your investors and how much did you raise?

The recent investment was series B. We’ve raised $15 million from Naspers.

Tell us about your product or service.

Brainly is the world’s largest social learning community for students with over 60 million monthly users. If you’ve got a question about an assignment or class discussion, or if you’re just curious about a new subject, the Brainly community is ready to lend a hand. Simply post your question and within minutes receive a clear, moderated response from a fellow student. Brainly also stores millions of questions in an easy-to-search knowledge base.

What inspired you to start the company?

The initial inspiration comes from Michał Borkowski, our cofounder. When he was back in school he saw that many of his friends, as well as he would get stuck on some problems with school subjects and couldn’t get any help. He wanted to solve this by enabling students to communicate and exchange knowledge among each other. Nobody knows everything, but everybody knows something.

How is it different?

Brainly is not quite like the other Edtech products out there. We work with students directly and our motto is “Students first”. Thanks to that, we can make sure that we address their needs in the best way possible. At the same time we value our relations with parents and teachers, who also join our community.

What market you are targeting and how big is it?

Brainly is currently used by students in over 35 countries. We have 12 language versions, including English, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, Indonesian or Turkish.

What’s your business model?

Currently, we’re focusing on improving our product and personalized learning experience of our students, as well as growing our global learning community. At the same time we see great potential in monetization for future.

Is there anyway of verifying if answers are correct?

We work with over a 1000 volunteer moderators who monitor the quality of the answers and questions and make sure that the community is well-organized.

What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?

Every project like this is a long-term partnership. Each time we start cooperating with a new investor, we are very careful while choosing them. A good investor can bring great expertise and mentorship to the organization and we’re happy to say that all of our investors have contributed to our work and brought a lot of value to our strategy.

What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?

I’d say it’s the matter of sharing our vision and believing in the mission of Bainly to inspire students to share and explore knowledge in collaborative communities. We all believe in the great potential of our product and have good understanding of the impact on global education it may have.

What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?

We plan to bring some more exciting and engaging features to our product and improve personalized learning experience and gamification. At the same time, we keep our focus on growing our communities around the world.

What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?

It’s all about your vision and potential of your product. With this, you can raise the capital needed to execute on your goals.

Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?

Berry Park.

About the author: AlleyWatch

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