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50 hot startups 2017

With $150m more, Byju’s is 4th valuable Indian private company

Byju's-Ravindran-BCCL1
Byju’s in December claimed it had 30 million registered users for its services, 2 million of which were paying customers.
Bengaluru: Education technology firm Byju’s has raised $150 million in fresh funding led by Qatar Investment Authority, the Qatar government’s sovereign wealth fund. San Francisco-based Owl Ventures also participated in the investment round.

The investment values the startup at $5.7 billion, according to sources. It makes Byju’s the fourth most valuable private internet company in the country, behind Flipkart (bought by Walmart), Paytm and Ola, with its valuation steadily rising with each round over the past one year.

Its valuation rose from $3.6 billion at the end of last year to $5.4 billion in March when it raised $25 million from General Atlantic. This has made founder Byju Raveendran one of the most wealthy new-age entrepreneurs, with the promoter group holding 36% stake in the company at an estimated value of $1.9 billion.

The Bengaluru-based firm said the fresh funds will support its plan to expand into international markets and create products that cater to learners abroad. The company recently launched its Disney Byju’s Early Learn app in partnership with Disney for K-3 students aimed at markets such as the United States, UK and Australia. “Indian edtech firms attracting interest from eminent investors, demonstrates that India is pioneering the digital learning space globally,” said Raveendran, the CEO of Byju’s. “This will help us explore and leverage our expertise in creating immersive techenabled learning programmes for students in smaller cities, regions and newer markets.”

In January, Byju’s acquired USbased education technology firm Osmo for $120 million and is looking to utilise the company’s physical-to-digital technology to roll out more products in the coming years. It will also leverage Osmo’s presence in primary schools in the US to further up-sell other learning products.

Byju’s in December claimed it had 30 million registered users for its services, 2 million of which were paying customers.

In the last fiscal, the company said it clocked ₹1,430 crore in revenue and claimed it was making profitable, without disclosing the exact figure.

“With the world’s largest schoolage population of 260 million, India’s education sector is at an inflection point. Byju’s has been at the forefront of providing quality auxiliary education to new-age learners,” said Amit Patel, Managing Director at Owl Ventures.

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