India’s edtech startup Byju’s is expecting to generate over $1 billion in revenue this year from India itself driven by a rapid growth in paying subscriber base. It is now preparing to further expand its operations internationally.
Byju’s recently raised $500 million in a new round of funding from Silver Lake at a valuation of over $11 billion, making it India’s second most valuable startup after PayTM which is valued at around $16 billion. It has raised more than $700 million this year.
Speaking at the Disrupt 2020 conference on Tuesday, co-founder and chief executive Byju Raveendran said the company is expecting to make $150 million to $180 million in profits from the India operations this year.
He still thinks that the potential is much higher in India as the startup has less than 4% penetration in the target audience segment. “More than one-third of school-going students don’t have a smartphone. There’s still a lot of catch up to do,” he was quoted as saying by TechCrunch.
Raveendran said that the startup is experiencing rapid growth in terms of adoption of digital learning in the country after the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March. Its user base quickly increased to 65 million users with the addition of over 20 million new students after it made content on its learning app free for all students in response to the closure of schools in late March 2020.
“Unfortunately it took a pandemic for most stakeholders to try out digital learning. Parents are now accepting the online segment more than before. This sector is clearly at an inflexion point,” Raveendran said.
To further grow operation and sweeten its offering, the company recently acquired WhiteHat Jr. for $300 million. WhiteHat Jr is an 18-month-old startup that specialises in teaching coding skills to students.
Byju’s is currently in talks with various local startups in the edtech space to bolster its overall portfolio. It is currently in advanced talks to acquire multilingual instant doubt clearing app Doubtnut, as per Indian startup news website Entrackr.
In India, Byju’s competes with companies like Eruditus, Unacademy, and Vedantu in the edtech space. The size of India’s overall education sector is estimated to be around $180-billion, a part of which is now shifting online after the pandemic broke out.
The Edtech space in India is growing with all major players raising funds to grow operations this year. Almost all of them have claimed to have seen dramatic growth in their engagement numbers over the last few months.
Unacademy this month raised $150 million in a round led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, at a valuation of $1.45 billion.
Eruditus in August raised $113 million in funding led by Leeds Illuminate and South African’s Prosus Ventures.
Vedantu also raised $100 million from US-based investment firm Coatue in July at a valuation of $600 million.
Byju’s, which claims to be the world’s most valuable edtech company, on Wednesday launched its social initiative – Education for All, aimed at democratising education by ensuring that children across all economic backgrounds get equal access to quality learning opportunities.
The company said that the latest initiative will bridge the educational and digital divide by making quality learning accessible to the children in need. For the initiative, it has signed agreements with The American India Foundation(AIF), Magic Bus, Save the Children, United Way and Vadham Tea.