Cracow, Poland-based social learning network Brainly, which operates a number of sites across Europe, has secured a $500k investment from VC firm Point Nine Capital and local angels, including Mariusz Gralewski, founder of the Polish professional network GoldenLine, and the founders of niania.pl, the largest “nannies platform” in Poland (sold to Edipresse).
The company says that the new funds will be used to further develop its social learning networks, and to expand into new markets — a move that should see the launch of an English language version and mobile products, putting Brainly in direct competition with the likes of Koofers and OpenStudy (see previous TechCrunch coverage).
Brainly provides a way for students to learn from each other, share knowledge, and network. At its core is a Quora-like Q&A feature designed to let users ask for help and support on homework tasks and other educational assignments. Those that contribute earn points and there are other gamification elements, including badges and subject rankings. Moderators are also employed to help maintain the quality of answers provided and to ensure fairness with regards to the scoring system.
Founded in 2009, Brainly currently targets 17 countries, mostly in Europe, with six discrete sites: zadane.pl (Poland), znanija.com (Russia and Ukraine), e-aufgabe.de (Germany and Austria), misdeberes.es (Spain and other Hispanic countries), nosdevoirs.fr (France), and eodev.com (Turkey). Overall, the company claims 7 million users per month who have “solved” more than 2 million tasks.