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Byju's founder and CEO Byju Raveendran. (File Photo: Bloomberg)
Byju's founder and CEO Byju Raveendran. (File Photo: Bloomberg)

Byju’s raises $122 million from DST Global

  • Promoters, which include founder Byju Raveendran, his wife Divya Gokulnath, and brother Riju Raveendran, have about 33.1% stake in the company worth nearly $3.3 billion. Before this funding, they owned 33.45% stake in the edtech company

NEW DELHI: Online learning platform Byju’s has raised $122 million from DST Global, the investment fund headed by tech billionaire Yuri Milner, as part of its ongoing funding round. The valuation stays at $10.5 billion, same as when funds were raised from Bond, a global technology investment firm co-founded by Mary Meeker.

The fundraise was first reported by news portal Entrackr.

According to documents filed with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Byju’s has allotted 42,666 Series F preference shares to DST Global for 908.9 crore.

Mint had earlier reported that Byju’s was in talks with DST Global for an investment of up to $400 million in the Indian online education startup. This transaction makes Byju’s India’s second-most valuable startup after financial payments firm, Paytm.

According to the Entrackr report, the promoters, which include founder Byju Raveendran, his wife Divya Gokulnath, and brother Riju Raveendran, have about 33.1% stake in the company worth nearly $3.3 billion. Before this funding, they owned 33.45% stake in the edtech company.

In 2020 so far, Byju’s has raised about $545 million across four Series F rounds including $200 million each from Tiger Global and General Atlantic.

Earlier this month, Byju’s acquired Mumbai-based WhiteHat Jr in an all-cash deal worth $300 million. The acquisition marked Byju’s entry into the fast-growing computer code training segment targeted at high school and college students. It was Byju’s fifth acquisition and its largest till date. It had last acquired Osmo, a maker of educational games, for $120 million in its first-ever purchase of a US company in January 2019.

The coronavirus pandemic has been like a shot in the arm for edtech companies. Byju’s had made content on its learning app free for all students in response to schools being shut due to the covid-19 crisis and lockdowns. It also introduced live classes to deepen student engagement.

"This crisis has brought online learning to the forefront and has helped parents, teachers and students alike to experience and understand the value of it," said Raveendran. "We have the opportunity to positively influence how teachers teach, students learn and school’s function. The ‘Classrooms of Tomorrow’ will have technology at the core, empowering students to cross over from passive to active learning. The result will be a combination of the best of both online and offline educational offerings."

Byju’s witnessed sharp growth last year and now has over 57 million registered students, more than 3.5 million paid subscribers and annual renewal rates as high as 85%. Byju’s doubled its revenue to 2,800 crore in FY20 from 1,430 crore.

Other learning platforms like Unacademy and Vedantu have also raised funding during the pandemic, propelling their valuation to $500 million. Edtech startup Toppr raised $50 million ( 350 crore) during the pandemic.

Market research firm HolonIQ forecasts that over $87 billion will be invested in EdTech over the next 10 years, almost triple the amount when compared with the decade gone by. According to the management consulting firm Ken Research, India’s online education market is growing at 20% plus annually and is expected to touch $2 billion by 2021.

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