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I know it would be logical to make a full blown post about Russian online video / movie service ivi.ru, which has just raised $40 million from Baring Vostok, ru-Net, Tiger Global Management, Frontier Ventures and others… But hey, I missed that story because I was networking at the fabulous European Pirate Summit and hence the good old TechCrunch rightfully beat me to it.
Brainly.com is a much smaller investment, made by the Berlin-based Point Nine Capital. In comparison it is only 500,000 Euros, but the point is this: it is an investment in Poland made amongst the cries of VCs that there are too few good projects and that Polish entrepreneurs are spoilt with cash. In fact, Brainly.com is going after a global social learning market.
The company started off in 2009 with a Polish website called Zadane.pl, and expanded further to Russia and Ukraine with its brand znanija.com, as well as German, Austrian, Spanish-speaking, French and Turkish websites. Now it covers 17 countries visited by 7 million monthly users. The competition includes various businesses, for example, Koofers, OpenStudy, MyKlassroom and others. The company was also backed by Mariusz Gralewski who previously founded Polish online professional network Goldenline.pl.
Point Nine Capital is at it again, the question remains how did the company made it to this size before securing half-a-million Euro investment? Pawel Chudzinski draws parallels between Brainly.com and couchsurfing in a way the companies disrupt established markets.
The idea of Brainly is to help students get support – for example in the area of homework – by allowing others share their knowledge, experience and views.
Brainly is a fresh new name, which consolidates existing brands under one umbrella. An English version of the website will be coming out soon.
Zadane.pl (before rebranding) was a finalist of Aulery Awards 2012.
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