The latest investment in Byju's comes at a time when investors are writing big cheques
Bengaluru: Online tutoring start-up Byju’s, run by Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, has raised $400 million in a new round of funding, making it the fourth most valuable start-up in India and augmenting the company’s plans to expand its presence overseas.
The funds were raised from Canada’s CPP Investment Board, Naspers Ventures, General Atlantic and some existing investors, according to documents filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), accessed through data intelligence platform Paper.vc and a person familiar with the transaction.
The latest round values Byju’s at nearly $4 billion, said the person cited above, making the company the fourth most valuable start-up in India, after digital payments firm Paytm (One97 Communications Pvt. Ltd), cab-hailing service Ola, and budget hotel chain Oyo Rooms.
A spokesperson for Byju’s declined to comment.
“A direct investment of a big pension fund into the Indian venture ecosystem is a positive sign and opens up international markets for Byju’s," said Vinod Murali, managing partner at venture debt firm Alteria Capital. “Byju’s style and the way the business has been built—it is transferable globally—and I expect them to use the new funds to fuel their overseas expansion plans."
The investment in Byju’s comes at a time when investors are writing big cheques, indicating a return of a funding boom in India’s start-up ecosystem. Other companies in the space include online tutoring platform Vedantu which raised $11 million last month in a funding round led by Omidyar Network.
Unacademy, another online learning platform, raised $21 million in a Series C round from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners and others.
Since its founding in 2008, Byju’s has raised more than $240 million from Tencent, Verlinvest, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Aarin Capital among others.
In July last year, the company raised about $40 million from Tencent, months after it raised $30 million from Verlinvest.
Byju’s attained the coveted unicorn status in its previous funding round which saw the participation of Tencent.
In the past three years, Byju’s has exceeded investor expectations. The company, which started out as an offline teaching centre in Bengaluru, launched an app in 2015 to increase user base. It currently offers two separate learning apps—its flagship app caters to students from Classes VI to XII, while the second targets students of Classes IV and V.
The move to a digital education platform has been lucrative for the company. In June, Byju’s said that it touched ₹ 100 crore in monthly revenue and raised its annual revenue target for this year to ₹ 1,400 crore. The company claims it is among the few profitable unicorns in the country.
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