The social network platform encourages peer-to-peer learning by allowing children and teens to help one another work through homework problems that are stumping them.
The students, in turn, earn points for the quality of their answers and can eventually climb into the leaderboards for various subjects from mathematics and science to history.
“The market is huge in India… the highest spends from parents’ salaries often go into their children’s education”
To ensure the accuracy of answers, Brainly moderates all the content with their own algorithm, while users can also rate the answers.
Founded in Krakow in 2009, the startup is currently present in over 35 countries.
In 2016 and 2017, Brainly closed $15m and $14m Series B funding, led by Naspers and Kulczyk Investments, to bring the total funding from current investors – including General Catalyst Partners, Point Nine Capital, Runa Capital and Learn Capital – to $38.5m.
Speaking to YourStory, Co-founder and CEO Michal Borkowski said Brainly has witnessed 200% annual growth since it entered India in 2016.
However, he added that Brainly is not currently monetising in India.
“We are in the growth stage; we want to reach every student in the world, and India specifically. We are not focusing on profit, we are still working on our business model,” he explained.
Borkowski added that Brainly had been looking at the India market since 2014.
“The market is huge in India – people are more willing to pay for education compared to most other markets; the highest spends from parents’ salaries often go into their children’s education.
“There is huge pressure on students to succeed. Using Brainly expands their knowledge and reduces frustration,” he said.
In a January 2019 survey of more than 10,000 Brainly users in India, more than half of respondents said their schools were not helping them enough to prepare for their careers and the real world.
Around 12% claimed that they started using Brainly because they needed additional support to boost their grades.
Borkowski said the majority of Brainly’s current user base in India is English speaking.
However, as part of its future expansion, Brainly has launched in Hindi, and will soon launch in Bengali and Kannada.
“Our users in Bangalore are using us almost every day, and the most popular subject among Indian users is Maths,” Borkowski added.