2 min read.Updated: 05 Oct 2021, 05:45 AM ISTJoseph Rai
The latest funding was led by New York-based Oxshott Capital Partners, which invested ₹1,200 crore as part of a Series F round at ₹285,072 per share, according to regulatory filings reported by researcher Tofler
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NEW DELHI :
Edtech unicorn Byju’s has raised ₹2,200 crore in fresh funds, underlining investor faith in India’s most valuable startup despite its widening losses.
The latest funding was led by New York-based Oxshott Capital Partners, which invested ₹1,200 crore as part of a Series F round at ₹285,072 per share, according to regulatory filings reported by researcher Tofler. Other investors in the round included Edelweiss ( ₹344.9 crore), IIFL ( ₹110 crore), Verition Multi-Strategy Master Fund ( ₹147 crore) and XN Exponent Holdings ( ₹150 crore).
The company secured some of the largest cheques from institutional investors in the past year as the covid pandemic fuelled an online learning boom, with parents enrolling kids in online classes as schools closed to prevent infections.
In June, Byju’s raised $1.5 billion from UBS Group, Abu Dhabi sovereign fund ADQ, and Blackstone Group, among others, at a valuation of $16.5 billion. Two months earlier, Byju’s raised more than $1 billion from investors led by Baron Funds, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, and US-based hedge fund XN Exponent Holding at a valuation of around $15 billion.
Byju’s has been on a buying spree and has shelled out over $2.2 billion in acquisitions this year alone. Just last month, it bought US kids’ coding platform, Tynker, in its ninth acquisition this year. It also acquired online exam preparation platform Gradeup in September. Earlier this year, the edtech firm acquired higher education platform Great Learning for $600 million, kids’ digital reading platform, Epic, for $500 million, and test preparation provider Aakash Educational Services for $1 billion in quick succession.
Byju’s consolidated sales in FY19-20 were 80% higher than the previous year, according to its regulatory filings. However, its losses widened nearly 30 times during the period.
Last month, Byju’s appointed Ola executive Puneet Bhirani as senior vice-president of operations. In an interview last month, Byju’s founder and chief executive, Byju Raveendran, said the company is considering an initial public offering and will be raising its last private round. The company is also considering both the US and India markets for its listing, he had said.
Food delivery startup Zomato became the first tech unicorn to list on the domestic stock exchanges this year, followed by online used-car marketplace CarTrade. Several other tech unicorns, including Paytm, Oyo, PolicyBazaar and Nykaa, have also filed paperwork for their initial share sale, while other tech giants such as Ola, PharmEasy and Delhivery are also set to file documents for IPO.
Other edtech startups have also attracted significant funding during the pandemic. Last week, Vedantu Innovation Pvt. Ltd, which runs a live tutoring platform, became India’s fifth digital learning startup to achieve unicorn status after raising $100 million in its Series E round led by Singapore-based impact investor ABC World Asia.
Other edtech firms that turned unicorns amid the pandemic are Unacademy, UpGrad and Eruditus. Unacademy turned a unicorn last September after raising $150 million ( ₹1,094 crore) in a round led by SoftBank. Unacademy has also been quite active on the acquisition front. This year, it acquired Rheo TV and TapChief for an undisclosed amount. Ronnie Screwvala’s UpGrad became a unicorn after it closed a $185 million funding round led by Singapore-based sovereign fund Temasek. Likewise, Eruditus achieved unicorn status after raising $650 million from Accel US and SoftBank.
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