Transforming education with technology

Today marks a significant milestone for Naspers Ventures. You may have already seen our news on May 11 announcing our first EdTech investment in Brainly. Today, we are delighted to announce our second investment in EdTech: online learning marketplace, Udemy. These first two investments in EdTech solidify our belief that education globally can be transformed with the right technology platforms.  Both Udemy and Brainly have big futures. They have very different approaches, and focus on different parts of the education market. However, they both have truly innovative approaches to increasing the utility and value of education. They have also shown the appeal of their ideas across borders, and are primed for significant international growth with Naspers support.

For those who don’t know them, Udemy provides an online marketplace for learning. Their platform helps anyone learn anything, around the world. Udemy already has 11 million students choosing from 40,000 courses available in over 80 languages, and they are forming new partnerships, from the Middle East to Asia and Brazil, at a strong pace. That said, they really are still at the beginning of their journey. The need for increased access to educational resources is vitally important in the changing global economy. This is particularly true in high-growth markets, making them a perfect fit for Naspers.

Brainly is equally innovative, but approaches the challenges of democratizing learning from a different perspective. They have built a social platform that inspires students to share and explore knowledge in a collaborative community. This enables them to engage in peer-to-peer educational assistance. At the same time, gamification entices the community to answer academic questions from students. Their approach has already proven to be very appealing. 60 million students in 35 countries interact with Brainly every month. As with Udemy, their current success is just the starting point. Accelerating international growth is a big focus for the company and a key driver of our investment.

We are very excited to be working with Dennis and Michal and their talented teams. Both leaders have clear visions for how technology can be harnessed to improve education worldwide. We look forward to working closely with them and providing the access they need to Naspers resources worldwide to support them achieving great results.

These investments are important in their own right, but they also highlight what we are aiming to achieve through Naspers Ventures. Naspers has a proven track record of identifying emerging products and technologies early and working with entrepreneurs to develop them into global platforms.  Over the last 100 years, Naspers has used this playbook to move from print to video entertainment to internet to ecommerce.  Now, Naspers Ventures has moved into education.  Of course, Naspers will continue its focus on areas of strength like e-commerce, online classifieds and electronic payments. Naspers Ventures remit is to continue the group’s legacy of identifying great businesses and entrepreneurs, but in new segments that will emerge as tomorrow’s platforms. 

Click here to read our Udemy press release.

About Naspers

Established in 1915, Naspers has transformed itself to become a global consumer internet company and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Through Prosus, the group operates and invests globally in markets with long-term growth potential, building leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities. Prosus has its primary listing on Euronext Amsterdam and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Naspers is the majority owner of Prosus.

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