Billionaire Yuri Milner-led DST Global invests $122 mn in Byju’s

Billionaire Yuri Milner-led DST Global invests $122 mn in Byju’s
Yuri Milner  |  Photo Credit: Reuters
26 Aug, 2020

Think & Learn, which runs online learning platform Byju’s, has raised Rs 909 crore (about $122 million at current exchange rates) from DST Global, the investment firm headed by Russian-Israeli billionaire Yuri Milner.

The investment in the ongoing growth funding round, dubbed a Series F round, was made from three DST Global funds -- DST Asia VII, DSTG VI Investments-A-IN and DSTG VII Investments-2-IN, regulatory filings show.

Post deal, Hong Kong-based DST Global will own a 1.2% stake in the edtech unicorn.

Last month, the Bengaluru-based company raised an undisclosed amount from Bond, the growth equity investment firm founded by former Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker. The deal, which valued the company at $10 billion, marked Bond Capital Fund’s first bet in India.

In February this year, Byju’s received $200 million from New York-based private equity firm General Atlantic, a returning investor in the company. The round valued the company, post money, at $8.2 billion at the time. In January, it raised a similar amount from New York headquartered alternative investments firm Tiger Global Management.

Early investors in the nearly 10-year-old company include Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed India, Aarin Capital, Verlinvest as well as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg-backed Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Founded in 2011 by Byju Raveendran, the company launched a K-12 learning app for students from class 4 to 12 in 2015. It has gone on to add programmes for competitive exams, including JEE, NEET and the IAS. Its flagship product, The Learning App, has over 64 million registered students and 3.5 million annual paid subscriptions.

Byju’s recently rolled out a tutoring programme called Byju’s Classes to offer scheduled online classes and live doubt solving sessions to students.

Earlier this month, Byju’s acquired Whitehat Education Technology, which provides online coding language courses for children under the brand WhiteHat Jr, in a $300 million all cash deal. The acquisition is expected to add muscle to Byju’s, as it expands its offerings to fight venture backed rivals such as Unacademy, Vedantu, Toppr and Gradeup.