Byju’s valuation gallops past $8 bn with fresh infusion from General Atlantic

Byju’s valuation gallops past $8 bn with fresh infusion from General Atlantic
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7 Feb, 2020

Bengaluru-based edtech unicorn Byju’s has expanded its current funding round with an additional $200 million infusion from existing investor General Atlantic, a person privy to the development told TechCircle.

“General Atlantic has been one of our strongest partners and this additional investment shows their confidence in our vision, growth and future,” Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO, Byju’s, said in a statement.

The statement did not divulge the funding amount or valuation.

With this capital infusion, Byju’s is valued at $8.2 billion, the person cited earlier said on the condition of anonymity. 

The startup raised $200 million from New York-headquartered alternative investments firm Tiger Global Management last month as part of the ongoing growth round.

General Atlantic’s previous investment in Byju’s was in March last year, when it infused $4.76 million into the company. The New York headquartered private equity firm also participated in Byju’s $540 million fundraise led by South African technology conglomerate Naspers in December 2018.

Owned and operated by Think & Learn, Byju’s is the highest funded and highest valued Indian startup in the edtech segment.

“We are happy to see an ever-increasing acceptance for our learning programmes in small towns across the country. Today, over 65% of our students are from outside the top 10 cities. This is a validation of how technology can make high-quality learning content more accessible to students, irrespective of their geographies,” Raveendran said.

TechCircle reported in July last year that the company had raised $150 million from sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority and other investors, taking its valuation to $5.7 billion. 

In March, Byju’s raised $31 million from General Atlantic and Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent Holdings. 

The edtech firm’s other investors include The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative owned by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Pricilla Chan, Belgium-based Verlinvest, Sequoia Capital India and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Founded in 2011, Byju’s runs learning apps for school students and produces all its content in-house. It originally started off as a coaching platform for competitive entrance exams and for students from classes 6 to 12. Its flagship learning app was launched in 2015. In 2018, it launched content for students of classes 4 and 5, which helped the firm accelerate growth and then targeted students in the class 1-3 segment with another app last year, which essentially completed its learning offerings from classes 1-12.

The company said it’s also working on launching programmes in vernacular languages and is looking to venture into online tutoring in the coming months.

The company now has over 42 million registered users and 3 million paid subscribers. It claims that the average number of minutes a student spends on the app has increased from 64 to 71 minutes a day over the past 12 months and the annual renewal rates are as high as 85%.

In January, the edtech unicorn forayed into the United States with its $120 million acquisition of Osmo, a learning platform.

Byju’s narrowed its losses more than four-fold in the financial year ended March 31, 2019, even as its expenses vaulted more than 150%. Its losses for the year stood at Rs 8.8 crore against Rs 37.1 crore in the previous year. Overall expenses during the same period stood at Rs 1,376.5 crore against Rs 537.3 crore in the previous year.

The company was able to narrow its losses significantly despite the jump in expenses on account of a 177% growth in operational revenues, which stood at Rs 1,305.9 crore. 

Based on Think & Learn’s standalone earnings, the company closed FY19 with a net profit of Rs 20 crore. Operating revenues, on a standalone basis, stood at Rs 1,281.1 crore against Rs 460.9 crore in FY18.