Brainly- Business Model and Story

Rishita Jain Rishita Jain
Feb 17, 2021 6 min read
Brainly- Business Model and Story

With so many educational startups like BYJU'S, Toppr, Vedantu, Unacademy, UpGrad, etc. emerging around the corner, raising millions from the students of India, few international platforms like Brainly are also paving their way to take their bite from one of the biggest youth-oriented countries.

Let's see how this 11-year old edtech company set to surmount the world's e-learning market.

What is Brainly?
Foundation of Brainly
The Brainly Story
History of Brainly
Brainly's Business Model for India
Challenges Face by Brainly

What is Brainly?

Brainly is an education technology company based in Krakow, Poland. Brainly provides a knowledge-sharing community where millions of students, teachers as well as parents share knowledge and solve each other's problems. It has become the world's largest social learning network, having reported 250 million monthly users per month across the 35 countries it serves, among which 15 million users are from India itself.

Brainly, as it describes itself, is a place for students, by students. The motto of Brainly is Smarter Together. Mainly built for high school and middle school students, all types of solutions and help can be found in this application, be it about Mathematics, History, Calculus, English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Social Studies, Health, Business, Arts, World Languages, Law, Computers and Technology, Engineering, Medical Sciences, French, German, etc. and many more.

Moreover, Brainly makes its usage more interesting by granting points to its users when they answer questions posted by others. And it awards ranks to users based on their frequency and accuracy of solving problems. The website also provides teacher ranks to professional teachers. So peers can have a healthy competitive environment among themselves while also enjoying the website and learning together.

Brainly Introduction

Foundation of Brainly

Brainly was founded in 2009 by three friends Michal Borkowski, Lukasz Haluch, and Tomasz Kraus. Since then, it has set up its headquarters in New York City, United States, and Krakow, Poland; and expanded its venture over 35 countries, raising 38.5 million dollars from its seven investors, including Naspers which also funded BYJU's.

The Brainly Story

The inspiration to start this multi-million dollar company came from Michal Borkowski, co-founder and CEO of Brainly. Before Brainly, Michal worked for Q&A networks and got to understand from it that subject-specific Q&As perform better than general Q&As. This later became the original inspiration behind Brainly.

Brainly was launched at the time when edtech companies were not much encouraged and it was difficult to find investors. So the three founders funded their company themselves and took the risk, and within a year, their decision got paid off as millions of students were starting to use Brainly to know more, and to know faster, in a click. And today Brainly claims to have built the world's largest social learning network.

The Brains behind Brainly.Michal Borkowski, Lukasz Haluch and Tomasz Kraus.

History of Brainly

The company was initially named Zadane.pl. In 2011, just 2 years after the company's birth, it created Znanija.com, the first international project dedicated to Russian language speakers. After that, the growth of this company had no turning back and raised several funds from large capital firms. The total funds raised by the company since its establishment is reported to be $68.5 million.

In 2017, Zadane.pl changed to Brainly.  In January 2018, Brainly announced the ownership of the video education startup, Bask, to bring video technology to the Brainly platform.

Brainly's Business Model for India

After conquering the world, Brainly is now all set to expand in India by focusing on vernacular content. It has already created a 15 million userbase in India within 2 years, the same as India’s first and only edtech unicorn BYJU’s. Brainly conducted a survey for Indian students and found that its users comprise of 42% secondary and 39% higher secondary grade students.


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However, Brainly has not yet monetized its services in India. According to Michal Borkowski, the CEO and co-founder, Brainly is giving priority to the growth of its reach to every potential user over profits. It has planned an efficient business model for rooting in India.

India offers a huge market to Bainly. People here are more willing to spend their salaries on their kid's education than any other sectors. The building competition among students and the pressure to succeed put up by parents acts as a boon to Brainly's market opportunities.

Moreover, students are dissatisfied with their schools, complaining that the schools are unable to prepare them for their careers. So here comes the need of an easy-to-go help source.

Unlike most other edtech companies established in India that provide competitive exam preparations and tedious learning programs, Brainly focuses on specific, curriculum-related problems and skill strengthening through connecting students together.

India's Education Market

Challenges Face by Brainly

Brainly’s current strategy is to build the student community and work on the content to ensure the best quality possible. But India also poses some challenges.

Lack of internet availability, which is a great problem in rural areas and semi-urban areas of the country, can cost a lot of users to Brainly. For this, the Brainly team is working to have a low and flexible data requirement for their app.

Lack of a unified syllabus in India also puts the company in trouble. So it does not follow a specific curriculum so that it can have a wider userbase of all school subjects.

Seeking the vernacular language is also a tough and elaborate job. India, having 22 official languages and thousands of regional ones, Brainly has to launch in languages other than English and Hindi in order to attract all types of students.


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Final Words

Brainly’s multifaceted community of experts encloses students who help answer other students' questions, be it a complex calculus question, or a conceptual question about a reading based assignment, or any inquiry regarding studying strategy for any career-related goals. So it assures verified and reliable solutions and to its users and builds a sense of trust for itself.

As Brainly puts its concept in a line, "No one knows everything, but everyone knows something. With Brainly, students combine their strengths and talents to tackle problems together."

With such great perspective and an efficient and dedicated team constantly working to refine its business model and open to new ideas; the day does not seem to be far away when Brainly will become every Indian student's goto app.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Is Brainly a free app?

You can always access most of the content and features available on Brainly for free. But if you wish to access all of the answers on Brainly, including Verified Answers with 100% uninterrupted access, you can purchase a Brainly Plus subscription!

Do you get paid on Brainly?

Brainly doesn't give you money. It works like Quora, where you answer questions to get points, and then use those points to ask questions and clear your doubts.

Is Brainly Indian?

No. Brainly is a Polish edtech, headquartered at New York. It is available to use in India though.

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