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Byju’s valuation crosses $5 bn with funding from General Atlantic, Tencent

Byju’s valuation crosses $5 bn with funding from General Atlantic, Tencent
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Ed-tech unicorn Byju’s, owned by Think & Learn Pvt. Ltd, has raised $31.3 million (Rs 215 crore at current exchange rate) in a fresh round of funding from existing investors General Atlantic and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

The firm’s filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) showed that Byju’s raised this sum in two infusions earlier this month by issuing compulsorily convertible preference shares.

TechCircle estimates show that Byju’s raised this sum at a valuation of $5.44 billion (Rs 37,347 crore at current exchange rate).

News of the development comes after Byju’s raised $4.76 million (Rs 33.2 crore then) earlier this month from General Atlantic at a valuation of $3.85 billion (Rs 26,940.5 crore then).

In December last year, Byju’s had announced securing $540 million (Rs 3,855 crore then) in a round led by South African tech conglomerate Naspers. However, the firm’s RoC filings stated that the company had raised $322.64 million (Rs 2,300 crore then).

General Atlantic had also participated in that round, and The Times of India stated that existing investor Sequoia Capital was partially offloading its stake for $185-190 million.

It is unclear whether the current infusion is part of the $540 million round led by Naspers. Byju's declined to comment on the development.

Byju’s

Founded in 2011, the venture runs learning apps for school students and produces all its content in-house. Byju's originally started off as a coaching platform for entrance exams and for students studying in classes 6-12. Last year, it launched content for students from classes four to five, helping them further accelerate their growth and then targeted an app for students from classes one to three.

The company is the best-funded and most-valued Indian startup in the ed-tech segment.

The following are among the firm's investors: The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which is the philanthropic foundation of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan; Belgian family office Verlinvest; Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB); and the World Bank’s private sector arm International Finance Corporation.

Byju’s sharply narrowed its loss for the year through March 2018, as a two-fold jump in operating revenue offset a rise in expenses.

The company reported net sales of Rs 471 crore for 2017-18, up from Rs 230 crore the previous year.

Net loss reduced by almost half to Rs 37 crore from Rs 61 crore, despite an increase in total expenses to Rs 537.4 crore from Rs 309.4 crore during the period.

Mrinal Mohit, chief operating officer at Byju's, had recently told TechCircle that the company was on track to triple its revenue for 2018-19 to Rs 1,400 crore.

Acquisitions

Byju’s has made a number of acquisitions in its quest for growth. It made its fifth acquisition in January this year by buying US-based digital learning platform Osmo for $120 million (Rs 840 crore then).

In July last year, it had bought learning platform Math Adventures for an undisclosed sum.

In July 2017, it bought Pearson-owned TutorVista. Six months before that, it had acquired Bengaluru-based learning guidance tool and student profile-builder Vidyartha for an undisclosed amount.

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