NEW YORK, Oct. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Brainly, the world's largest social learning network designed to allow students to help each other with schoolwork, today announced that it has raised a $9 million Series A funding round led by General Catalyst Partners. Previous and new investors, including Point Nine Capital, Learn Capital, and Runa Capital, also participated in the round. With the funding, Brainly will expand its U.S. operations and is opening an office in New York City. CEO Michal Borkowski will continue to lead the company and is hiring a U.S.-based executive team. Adam Valkin and Nitesh Banta from General Catalyst Partners will join Brainly's board of directors.
Founded in 2009, the investment follows Brainly's tremendous success in its home country of Poland, which led to its expansion into 35 additional countries throughout Europe, South America, and Asia, including Russia, Indonesia, and Brazil. Each month, more than 30 million people around the globe visit Brainly's websites to seek homework help. The company has more than doubled its user base during the past year, and today more than 8,000 questions are asked on Brainly sites each hour.
"Every student in the world eventually becomes stuck on a homework problem, causing frustration and loss of confidence," said Michal Borkowski, CEO of Brainly. "Our vision is to help students become unstuck by turning homework into an opportunity to inspire learning and collaboration. With this funding, we will be able to accelerate this vision by bringing new expertise to our team, reinventing the next generation of our product, and expanding Brainly to new geographies."
"With its large and fast-growing user base, global relevance, and vision to inspire a generation of students, Brainly is building a standout community and brand in the ed-tech space," said Nitesh Banta of General Catalyst. "They are taking a common offline behavior – homework help and collaboration – and moving it online, achieving all the efficiencies and benefits we see in other industries and democratizing access to after-school learning."
To use Brainly, registered users post homework questions and problems to the site, and in return, other users post answers to the questions. By helping other students answer questions, users earn points, which then allow them to ask their own questions, creating a natural cycle of help and engagement. A global volunteer team of teachers, students and education experts serve as moderators on the platform to screen questions and check answer quality on an ongoing basis.
With the new funding, Brainly will continue to focus on executing against its product roadmap to improve the features users care. It will also design new features that support its long-term vision to empower students to help each other learn in the most efficient way.
In addition, Brainly is growing its marketing, operations, and product teams in New York to create awareness and increase its user base. Brainly is actively hiring for senior level positions, including VP of marketing, VP of product, and VP of user experience, as well as support roles in community and content. To learn more about Brainly and the open positions within the company, visit meet.brainly.co.
Brainly is the world's largest social learning network. At brainly.com, and its group of websites around the world, high school and middle school aged students connect to both receive and offer help with homework problems and questions. The unique opportunity for students to freely ask questions and gain the confidence that comes from helping others, inspires students to learn in a collaborative community that receives more than 30 million visitors each month. Based in Krakow, Poland, with its US headquarters in New York City, Brainly is currently available in 35 countries, representing 12 languages. More information about Brainly is available on meet.brainly.co.
About General Catalyst Partners
General Catalyst Partners is a venture capital firm that makes early-stage and growth equity investments. The firm backs exceptional entrepreneurs who are building innovative technology companies that transform industries, including KAYAK, Demandware, Stripe, Airbnb, The Honest Company, Warby Parker, Oscar, Datalogix, BigCommerce, Snapchat, HubSpot, and Datto. The General Catalyst partnership leverages its broad experience to help founders build market-leading businesses. General Catalyst has offices in Cambridge, MA, Palo Alto, CA and New York City. For more information, visit: www.generalcatalyst.com or www.twitter.com/gcvp.
For more information, contact:
Kristina Kennedy, Brainly
Katja Gagen, General Catalyst Partners
415 690 6689