VC-backed BYJU’S buys Osmo for $120 mln


BYJU’S has acquired Osmo for $120 million. Based in Palo Alto, California, Osmo is a provider of digital games for children. BYJU’S is backed by Naspers, CPPIB, General Atlantic, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Verlinvest, IFC, Aarin Capital, Times Internet and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

PRESS RELEASE

PALO ALTO, Calif., and BANGALORE, India (Jan. 16, 2019) — Today, Osmo, the award-winning playful learning system for creating healthy screen time experiences, announces that BYJU’S, the world’s most valuable ed-tech company, has acquired Osmo for US$120 million. BYJU’S first ever purchase of a US company will see Osmo continue to scale as a standalone brand even as BYJU’S taps the company’s physical-to-digital technology and content to expand and enhance its current offering. BYJU’S today is India’s most loved and preferred learning solution for grades K4 to K12; with the integration of Osmo, BYJU’S will also look to offer a unique, customized, engaging and fun learning solution for younger kids. This new acquisition will bolster team BYJU’S’ international plans to innovate, explore and set new benchmarks for tech-enabled personalized learning solutions. Pramod Sharma, Osmo’s CEO and co-founder and his core team will continue to remain at Osmo’s helm.

Launched in 2015, BYJU’S Learning App is the leader in offering personalized learning programs for school students in grades 4-12 in India. With 30 million students cumulatively learning from the app and over 2 million annual paid subscriptions, BYJU’S has witnessed phenomenal growth. The app creates personalized learning programs for individual students based on their proficiency levels and capabilities which help them learn at their own pace and style.

The company has been growing at 100% for the last 3 years, and is on target to triple it’s revenue to 250 million USD this year. BYJU’S has aggressive plans for international market expansion and will continue to make big investments in technology that will help to further personalize learning for students.

Osmo Snapshot
● Founded in 2013 by former Google engineers and parents Pramod Sharma and Jerome Scholler
● Created a new play movement focused on learning through entertainment and built one of the most recognized learning brands in the past half-decade
● Used in tens of thousands of elementary schools
● Beloved in more than one million households
● Launched 12 learn-and-play titles spanning everything from coding and math to entrepreneurship and the arts
● Raised $32.5M in funding from Accel, K9 Ventures, Upfront Ventures, Mattel, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Collab+Sesame, Shea Ventures ● Received Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Education 2017, Time Magazine’s Best Inventions 2014 and Parent’s Choice Magazine’s Gold Award, 2016 & 2017

Osmo’s proprietary ‘Reflective AI’ technology allows an iPad, iPhone or Amazon Fire camera to “see” physical objects in front of it. This first-of-its-kind technology gives kids a blank canvas to express themselves and learn through hands-on play. The company’s physical-to-digital experiences, approach to thoughtful design and the elegant, age-appropriate use of technology has led to a faithful following among teachers and parents.

BYJU’S Snapshot
● Founded in 2011 as Think and Learn by Teacher Byju Raveendran and launched BYJU’S-The Learning App launched in 2015
● The company is one of the top five most valued private internet companies in India
● 30 million registered students and 2 million annual paid subscriptions
● Students on average spend 64 mins daily on the platform
● 3200+ employees
● Investors include Naspers Ventures, Canadian pension fund CPPIB, private equity firm General Atlantic, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sofina, Verlinvest, and Times Internet

Shared Love of Learning
The coming together of the companies is a natural fit rooted in a love of learning shared between Sharma and Raveendran. Both leaders reflect a complementary blend of India’s deep cultural ties to education – credited with producing top engineers and Fortune 500 CEOs – and lesson learned in Silicon Valley and US classrooms.

“We started Osmo for parents looking for a way to combine physical, hands-on play with the power of digital platforms to foster a love of learning,” explains Sharma. “Finding a visionary education company like BYJU’S opened an exciting opportunity to work together to carry forward our mission across all primary school grade levels on a global scale. We’re excited about what we can accomplish together.”

Global Scale
The secret to BYJU’S success is its focus on engaging content and how the app adapts to student performance to make learning enjoyable and effective. The company believes Osmo’s use of mixed reality interactions can take these learning experiences to new audiences and applications and expand its offering of educational content.

“We were captivated by Osmo’s physical-to-digital approach to learning and fun from our first introduction,” recalls Byju Raveendran, Founder & CEO, BYJU’S –The Learning App. “Our vision is to make learning fun and engaging across age groups, across geographies. I strongly believe that using technology, we can make children all over the world fall in love with learning. Together with Osmo, we have the critical elements needed to build out an unprecedented library of engaging and entertaining educational content for a global pre-K-12 student audience. We are very excited by what we are planning to launch in the coming months.”

“With this acquisition, we are expanding into a new age demographic and entering the world of younger kids (age group 3-8). Our partnership with Osmo will help kids acquire love for learning at an early age by introducing ‘play-based learning’. Osmo’s world-class product capabilities teamed with our expertise & scale, will help build strong learning products for younger students. Overall, the BYJU’S – Osmo partnership aims at fostering love for learning through cutting-edge tech and a new approach to edu-tainment-based learning.”, Byju further added.

About Osmo
Osmo is building a universe of hands-on play experiences that nourish the minds of children by unleashing the power of imagination. The company brings physical toys into the digital world through augmented reality and its proprietary reflective artificial intelligence.

Founded in 2013 by ex-Google engineers Pramod Sharma and Jerome Scholler, the Osmo Play System fuses digital gameplay and physical interaction to create fun and nutritious play experiences designed for all kids. Its universe spans twelve titles, including Super Studio, Coding Awbie, and Masterpiece, which respectively teach creativity, computer science, and drawing. Osmo is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. Join in on the fun at PlayOsmo.com.

About BYJU’S – The Learning App
BYJU’S is the world’s most valuable ed-tech company, which offers highly-adaptive, engaging and effective learning programs for students in classes 4-12 (K-12). Launched in 2015, BYJU’S has become the most-loved and preferred learning app for students across age groups.

The BYJU’S learning app makes use of original content, rich animations, interactive simulations and engaging video lessons from India’s best teachers. Today, BYJU’S has cumulatively had over 30 million registered students and two million annual paid subscriptions. With an average time of 64 minutes being spent by a student on the app every day from 1700+ cities in India, the BYJU’S app is making learning enjoyable and effective.

Delivering a world-class learning experience, BYJU’S is making learning contextual and visual, not just theoretical. The app has been designed to adapt itself to the unique learning style of every student, as per the pace of learning, size of learning and style of learning. The learning app is paving the way for new-age, geography-agnostic learning tools that sit at the cross section of mobile, interactive content and personalised learning methodologies.

To date BYJU’S has raised funds from Naspers, CPPIB, General Atlantic, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Verlinvest, IFC, Aarin Capital, Times Internet and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

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