Byju's to launch app targeting younger kids
The move will help ed-tech unicorn’s international expansion plans.
“We will leverage Osmo’s technology platform and along with our content, introduce a new app because the requirements for this set of students is different. It will be a lot more gamified and will have richer visuals and content,” Byju Raveendran, founder and chief executive of the Bengaluru-based firm, told ET.
Last week, Byju's said it acquired Osmo in a largely share-swap deal, as it chalks out an aggressive international expansion plan. Founded by India-origin Pramod Sharma, Palo Alto, California-based Osmo produces augmented-reality games for iPads and iPhones targeted at children in the age group of 3-8 years.
Quality wise, the new app scheduled for launch in June should match entertainment content that students in this age group consume, Raveendran said. The product, which would be launched in India first, has been built keeping in mind the US and other English-speaking markets as well. “Alternate offline options for this segment (age group of 3-8) are limited. If you combine that with parents' willingness to pay much higher amounts, especially in Indian small towns where education is very aspirational, it's a big area to be tapped,” Raveendran said.
The company aims to price the new offering at par with its flagship product at around Rs 1,000 per month, he said.
Apart from educational content, the new app will also have co-curricular activities such as teaching good habits aimed at the youngest of learners, which will be delivered in a gamified and mixed-reality format for better impact. For this, Raveendran said the firm will begin to leverage the Osmo platform as well as its brand in the US. “There is a huge overlap between the user base of Osmo and our new lower age group product. This will be useful when we launch in the US as it will give us a head start, because for them (Osmo users), it will be an additional comprehensive learning product,” he said.
Byju’s plans to add more such mixed-reality and gamified content to its new product, targeting learners between grades four and six.
Its largest acquisition to date, Osmo, will remain a separate entity with its own learning content, but will also help market Byju’s products in the US and other overseas markets. The Indian firm said it would make investments in Osmo to help it scale up offering from just 12 educational games today to around 100 soon. Osmo has more than 1 million families in the US and over 25,000 schools subscribing to its product. It also has a smaller presence in Australia, Canada and the UK, and generates revenue of $30 million a year.
In December last year, Think & Learn Pvt Ltd, which owns and runs Byju’s, raised $540 million in funding led by South African Investment giant Naspers at a valuation of $3.6 billion. This made it among the most valuable Internet companies in the country, and also gave it the firepower to look at international expansion. The company is on track to close this year with Rs 1,400 crore revenue. It gets 15% of its revenue from international students with its current portfolio of courses.