Brainly – Cool Startups


Mike88
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Startup Name *
What problem are you solving?Right now i am trying to attract people by a new trend in education and the world wide web – called social learning or school crowdsourcing. Students reach the internet to make solutions to their homework by co-operation. Isn’t that great?
What is your solution?Brainly.com is a social study web service. It allows students to post questions about their homework and other students answer those questions. Each student allocates points to have their question answered and other students answer the questions to gain points, it has a great gamification aspect as the smart students compete with each other to provide the best answers. Brainly is achieving huge growth in the U.S market. It has already been noticed by the big media like Forbes.com:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alisoncoleman/2014/05/16/global-ed-tech-disruption-from-poland-crowdsourced-homework/

Why is this a great opportunity?It’s worth mentioning that this idea can help poorer students to break the walls of inequality of the access to education, simply by reaching help to their peers and teachers in the web, and not by getting lessons by tutors, they can afford.
Target Marketstudents, tutors, wisdom lovers
How will you make money?ads, gameification, sponsored activities
Founders NamesMichał Borkowski, Tomasz Kraus, Łukasz Haluch
Websitehttp://brainly.com
What type of funding has the company receivedVenture Capital/ Private Equity

Startup88 Verdict

We like it, Brainly solves a real problem, how to improve yours or your kids grades and appears to have traction, I love the space and the site seems to have new questions and answers being added constantly numerous times an hour.

Their pitch is no where near as good as their website at laying out their value proposition, I would suggest that they could do a much better job on the pitch, I wanted to see more about their what problem they solved and why it was a great opportunity.

While I really buy off on the the problem and their solution, its still not clear that they have monetisation sorted out.

Basically it operates on the concept of ask a question and get crowdsourced answers, with some added gamification by giving points to the people who answer the questions and allowing people who ask the questions to allocate points to the answers.

I think there is a business model in there, I’m sure between advertising and getting parents to pay a premium subscription they can build a business (my son Lachlan is doing his last year of high school right now and getting this close to the end I can tell you I am happy to pay whatever it takes to help him win).

Edtech is gaining a lot of attention and investment and whilst there is space for a few players this style of business is mostly winner takes all.

These markets are tough to crack, in order to be able to convince customers to pay for a premium service you need the best inventory. In their case Brainly’s inventory is real homework questions across a wide age range and then an active community to answer them.

Students will go where the best questions and the best student community is, you won’t get students if you don’t have good questions and an active community, parents will probably only want to pay for service that has the best questions that are relevant to their kids, so this is probably one of those winner takes all markets.

Interestingly I noticed them tracking user willingness to recommend, basically they are trying to calculate their Net Promoter Score with a slide out box that asks you how likely you are to recommend them which is a great sign in my opinion as this model will not work unless they can make it massively viral and not have to pay to acquire users.

Where I could see a premium model emerging is if they are able to tag or categorise the questions to match either specific age groups or specific schooling levels in each country so that the questions can be used as a study tool, perhaps if a parent could get reports so they could see the scores of their kids answers and the questions matched their age group and capabilities ie advanced or general.

Ideally under a premium model the kids wouldn’t get to see the answers until they had contributed their own answer, perhaps they could develop some artificial intelligence means to grade answers or use the community or a service like Mechanical Turk to grade the answers.

I hope they kick ass, its a real problem and I am right behind any services that make it easier for my kids to get the best result they can and I like how they have gamified it and managed to get traction.

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