Byju’s turns focus on building in-house technology innovations

Yatti Soni Bengaluru | Updated on October 04, 2021

Byju’s Lab will focus on bringing deeper personalisation and democratisation into a student's learning journey

Over a dozen acquisition deals later, Byju’s is turning focus towards building in-house technology solutions under its new initiative Byju’s Lab.

Headed by company’s chief innovation and learning officer, Dev Roy, Byju’s Lab will be based out of the United Kingdom, US and India. The hub will onboard AI and ML specialists, along with some hires in psychometric, and other domains that could help the team gain a deeper understanding of how students absorb and consume content.

“We are already thought leaders in the content and learning space. Now with Byju’s Lab, we want to become thought leaders in using technology in the education space. That’s the genesis of Byju's lab,” Roy told BusinessLine. The new venture will incubate new ideas, provide cutting-edge technologies and deliver solutions across Byju’s ecosystem of learning products.

Broadly, the lab will focus on bringing deeper personalisation and democratisation into a student's learning journey. Roy noted that children are multimodal, some of them like to watch videos, while others like to do problem sets. Some children prefer working on their own and others like having some scaffolds. The team at Byju’s Lab will work on finding ways in which technology can be used to cater to each of these multimodal natures without pushing kids to go out of their preferred learning mode or environment.

Further, in terms of democratising education, the team will explore building systems which can enable children in distant places to access tech-assisted learning which is equivalent to the education offered in major cities across the world.

Talking about success metrics for Byju’s Lab, Roy said that there are two metrics for success: one is if the initiative is able to achieve some of the business-oriented goals of democratization and better personalization in education. Second are the halo goals, which is when people recognise Byju’s as the pioneers of how to use AI and ML in the education domain.

Acquisition vs In-house Innovation

Byju’s has officially announced ten acquisitions in the edtech space including Tynker, Gradeup, TutorVista, Edurite, Math Adventures, Osmo, Whitehat Jr, Aakash Education Services, Epic, and Great Learning. Started in 2011 as an offline company, Byju’s has today integrated technology in all its product offerings and a significant part of this journey could be credited to the company’s many acquisition deals.

For instance, US-based platform Osmo which Byju’s acquired in 2019 has built a phygital (physical+digital) games for kids, where kids could solve a math problem on a physical book and the app captured it. After the acquisition, Osmo’s platform has been integrated into all of Byju’s products and is also one of major reasons why the company acquired Osmo.

Similarly, the recently acquired K-12 Creative Coding Platform Tynker has built a proprietary platform to teach kids coding through a story-based curriculum. Byju’s plans to integrate Tynker with all its existing platforms and use its tech capabilities to create a larger impact beyond just coding. For instance, using coding to create Art, or learn geometry.

Commenting on the benefits of building in-house tech solutions to solve problems sets instead of the acquisition route, Roy said, “when you are trying to solve a problem and you get a solution from outside, it is usually not a perfect solution. It solves some parts of the problem while some parts are left out. But when we are building the solutions in-house, we can create them in Byju's way. In essence, the lab will work to promote and build technology systems that promote and enhance the Byju's way.”

Published on October 03, 2021

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