Byju Raveendran is an Indian entrepreneur. He created the learning app “Byju’s-The Learning App”, and it is the only startup in Asia which is funded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife’s foundation- the “Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Once, in an interview, he said that “Although my parents are teachers, they never pressurised me to perform well at academics. Instead, my father pushed me towards sports”. It resulted in Byju playing six sports at the university level, including Football, Cricket, Table Tennis, and Badminton.
Despite being a sportsperson, Byju never planned to pursue a career in sports. Like most of the students, he only thought of two professions- medical science (Doctor) and engineering. He knew that he would not get any time for sports as a medical student, he chose to become an engineer.
After graduating, he secured a job as a ‘service engineer’ at a multi-national shipping firm.
He wanted to ensure that his 100 percentile was not a fluke, hence, he attempted the exam once again and scored 100 percentile. He got a call from all six of the IIM’s, but, he declined all the offers; as he had no interest in doing an MBA.
His friends also cleared the exams with good marks. He would guide MBA aspirants with tips and tricks to solve mathematics problems in the least time-consuming way.
In 2009, he began recording his lectures to make them available to students across 45 cities.
He became so popular among students that at one point in time, he was taking maths workshops for around 20,000 students, across different cities, including Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Chennai.
By August 2015, Byju’s Android and iOS apps had over 5.5 million downloads with more than 2.5 Lacs annual subscribers.
In September 2016, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic organisation created by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, invested $50 million in Byju’s firm, making it the first start-up in India to be funded by the initiative.
In 2017, Byju’s- The Learning App was incorporated by the “Harvard University” as one of its case studies.