With a valuation of US$ 3.6 billion in its latest funding round, Byju’s is now keen to expand its portfolio and also tap new markets in India and overseas.
Edtech startup Byju’s received a major boost in its valuation when it secured US$ 540 million in its latest funding round led by Naspers Ventures along with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and private equity firm General Atlantic. The transaction values it at US$ 3.6 billion as compared to around US$ 1 billion last year when it made a share allotment to its investors. With this valuation, Byju’s enters the league of top five private internet firms in India. In the edtech space, however, the valuation has catapulted it to the top of the world, bettering Chegg (US$ 3.36 billion), Plurasight (US$ 3.23 billion), 2U (US$ 3.21 billion), VIP Kid (US$ 3 billion) and Coursera (US$ 1 billion). Byju’s also counts Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation among its backers. With the deal, Russell Dreisenstock, head of international investments, Naspers Ventures will come on the Board of Byju’s.
Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of the company, was a teacher who turned entrepreneur, a fact that would remind you of Alibaba founder Jack Ma (who says that being a teacher taught him how to identify and cultivate talent). The company started with offline training for CAT exams and moved into the online edtech space in 2015. Byju’s plans to use these funds for expansion of the company’s product portfolio and market reach. Currently, the company provides modules for classes 4-12 and competitive exams like Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Common Admission Test (CAT). The firm is now planning to launch a learning app for children in the 3-8 years age group, which will also tap other English-speaking countries like US, UK and Australia. Besides this, there is still a lot of potential to cover in India, particularly in the smaller cities and towns. Raveendran comments, “The aspiration is to create the largest education company in the world. Starting in India is a big advantage because it will be the largest market, even compared to China.”
Furthermore, Raveendran is confident that that Byju’s will post an annual profit in FY 2019. The company has around 30 million registered students currently, with the number of paid subscribers at 2 million. Moreover, Byju’s is posting 100% growth in revenue yoy since the past three years and earns Rs 150 crore a month in revenue at present (projected revenue of Rs 1,400 crore in FY 2019 compared to Rs 520 crore during the previous year.