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Brainly, a Poland-based peer-to-peer (P2P) social learning platform, has raised another $14 million in funding, closing its series B round at $29 million.
The round was led by Kulczyk Investments, with participation from previous investors, including Naspers, General Catalyst, Point Nine Capital, and Runa Capital. It comes 17 months after Brainly opened its series B round with a $15 million investment, and today’s news takes the company’s total equity funding to nearly $40 million.
‘No one knows everything, but everyone knows something’
Founded out of Kraków in 2009, Brainly sells its platform as a place for students to “combine their strengths and talents to tackle problems together.” The web- and app-based portal targets high school and middle school students to encourage learning outside the classroom. Users can ask questions across a range of topics, including science, history, and math, and receive moderated responses from fellow students.
Brainly said that more than 100,000 questions are answered on the platform each day, and every answer can be searched and viewed by subsequent visitors.
Brainly has also revealed that it now has 100 million monthly active users across 35 countries. And with another $14 million in the bank, the company plans to build on its recent U.S. growth, which was propelled by its acquisition of Atlanta, Georgia-based OpenStudy last year. Brainly also plans to accelerate its global growth and expand its product team with a view toward building “new personalized learning features,” according to a statement issued by the company.
“Learning is different for every student, and we strive to make every learning experience a collaborative and engaging journey for students around the world,” noted Michał Borkowski, CEO and cofounder of Brainly. “Reaching 100 million monthly users reinforces our belief that a personalized learning experience is one that helps students achieve success and empowers them to help one another.”
There has been a slew of VC investment across the edtech sphere in recent times, with the likes of Duolingo raising $25 million, Coursera nabbing another $64 million, and Norway-based educational quiz platform Kahoot closing a $20 million funding round. Brainly is tackling things from a slightly different perspective, however, by harnessing the power of the crowd to connect like-minded students in their quest for knowledge.
“Since our initial investment in 2016, we have been impressed with Brainly’s growth, particularly in the U.S,” added Naspers Ventures CEO Larry Illg. “Even beyond the staggering size of the Brainly user base, we have been pleased with the depth of user engagement, and this is no doubt a result of the continued evolution of their platform to better serve students throughout the learning process.”
In terms of monetization, well, Brainly isn’t quite at that stage yet. The company told VentureBeat that it is working on it but can’t share specifics yet. “Currently, we are testing monetization in the United States and in Poland, two of our largest markets,” said Borkowski. “We’re very happy with the results, however, it’s too early in our testing to share specifics.”
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