Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative have made their first investment in Asia in a Bengaluru-based start up, Byju’s.

“As part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Priscilla and I are investing in an Indian education technology company we’re excited about called BYJU’s,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook wall on Thursday.

The latest round of funding will value Byju’s at around $500 million. The company is said to expand to other English-speaking countries.

But what made Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan invest in Byju’s ?

Byju Raveendran started Byju’s as a way to help students from different backgrounds across India learn in a way that works best for them and that isn’t boring.

Zuckerberg has put his faith on Byju’s ‘personalized learning’ platform.

“I’m optimistic about personalized learning and the difference it can make for students everywhere. That’s why it’s a major focus of our education efforts, and why we’re looking forward to working with companies like BYJU’s to get these tools into the hands of more students and teachers around the world,” Zuckerberg added.

Byju’s  initially helped students who wanted to crack the CAT exam and later expanded into other competitive exams. It operated through physical classrooms for many years before it moved on to video classes online.

Byju’s expert teacher team consists of young Indian graduates from American universities and rank holders in competitive exams.

“Learning so addictive you’ll fall in love with it” is what reads when you visit their website.

The page is interactive and features teachers explaining the Pythagoras theorem and other such subjects using visual media and animation as opposed to theoretical learning.

Byju’s offers these interactive classes for students from 9th grade to 12th grade including preparing for competitive exams like IIT-JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, GRE and GMAT.

Apart from video based learning, you can also take chapter-wise tests. These tests are what Byju’s call ‘adaptive learning’ which are personalised to every student’s aptitude that come with feedback and analysis.

Byju’s also features one-on-one learning option with the teachers.

It provides its students with sample papers and previous exam papers to ensure utmost preparation.

Byju’s app

The company peaked popularity when the Byju’s launched its mobile app in 2015. “So far, BYJU’s has 250,000 subscribers who use the app for an average of 40 minutes a day — and it’s working,” Zuckerberg wrote on his post.

The mobile app uses a mix of video lessons and interactive tools to help teach subjects like math and science. It extends its competitive exam courses to the app.

The learning app, like its website, is interactive and visually rich.

Byju’s prep tab

Byju’s has also introduced what is called a ‘prep tab’, a tablet for students seeking to give their GRE exam. The prep tab includes classes, videos, test, exams and more.

Byju’s has won awards including Winner of the CNBC-TV 18 Crisil Emerging India Award in Education.