Kraków-based edtech platform Brainly scores €27 million from Naspers

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Founded in Kraków in 2009, Brainly is a Quora-style social learning platform and app for middle and high school students, where they can crowdsource homework answers in subjects including math, history, science, and social studies.

Brainly is one of the world’s fastest growing edtech startups, with 150 million users in 35 markets, and has just raised €27 million in a round led by Naspers, bringing the total raised by the startup to €61 million.

The company plans to use the funds to further expand into the US, where it has a New York office, but only 10 million users in a market of 76 million students.

While students in the US may be tempted to simply Google their homework questions, Brainly’s platform provides more thorough, curated responses from other students.

However like Google, Brainly is not free of errors, and so it provides algorithm-based answer checking, community moderation that allows users to flag wrong answers, as well as “verified answers” by moderators that are experts in the subject. In the future, Brainly may also offer curriculum-specific services, for example preparing students for standardized tests in the US or the A-levels in the UK.

Brainly’s current business model is based on a freemium option, which relies on ads, and an ad-free subscription option for a few euros per month that unlocks extra services. The company also plans to use the extra venture funding to find ways to further monetize.

“We have been impressed by Brainly’s growth over the past 10 years, particularly in the US and high-growth markets like India, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil,” said Larry Illg, CEO of Naspers Ventures. “At Naspers, we back companies seeking to address big societal needs like education, helping them fulfill their vision with the ultimate aim of achieving global scale. Brainly has the potential to serve the needs of hundreds of millions of students around the world and Michal and the team are building an invaluable service for learners everywhere.”

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