7 October 2020

Hotel Intercontinental, Warsaw

Naspers invests a further $30mn in Brainly

Brainly says the latest round of funding will be used to enhance its user experience and create the next generation of the platform

SA internet giant Naspers said on Wednesday it would invest $30m (R422m) in Brainly, a peer-to-peer learning community for students, parents and teachers.

Combined with Brainly’s previous funding rounds, the latest investment brings total funding to $68.5m. The funding is with participation from Runa Capital and Manta Ray.

Brainly said this round of funding will be used to enhance its user experience and create the next generation of the platform. Additionally, funds will help expand its user base in the US, a key market for the company.

“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 in a statement.

“Brainly has the potential to serve the needs of hundreds of millions of students around the world,” he said.

With 150-million monthly active users, the business was set up to recreate local student study groups in a global online community. The service has users in 35 countries, with the largest communities being in the US, Russia, Indonesia, India, Turkey, Brazil and Poland.

Brainly CEO and co-founder Michał Borkowski said: “Our goal is to extend that access to every one of the 76-million US students and beyond, giving them the resources and the tools to succeed and inspire collaborative learning.

“Every student struggles with schoolwork at some point. But never before has there been such widespread access and opportunity for students to learn from one another,” said Borkowski.

In 2016 and 2017, Brainly closed $15m Series B funding and $14m Series B-1 funding, led by Naspers and Kulczyk Investments.

In June, Naspers’s R1.4bn startup fund, Naspers Foundry, invested R30m in SA technology startup SweepSouth, which operates an online cleaning services platform.

Earlier in July, the company’s payments and fintech business, PayU, announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Red Dot Payment, a Southeast Asia-focused online payments business

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