India’s edtech unicorn BYJU’s raises $800mn ahead of IPO

edtech unicorn BYJU's
Image by Ismunandar Rambe | Bigstockphoto

India’s edtech unicorn BYJU’s has raised $800 million in a funding round led by the startup’s founder and CEO Byju Raveendran at a valuation of $22 billion, up by about 22% from the last valuation of $18 billion.

Raveendran contributed $400 million through personal investment, raising his stake to 25% from 23%, according to an official statement.

Founded in 2011 by Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath, the edtech startup said that Sumeru Ventures, Vitruvian Partners, and BlackRock participated in the funding round.

The development comes at a time when the edtech startup is preparing for its initial public offer in around 9-12 months.

“We continue to witness accelerated growth in India and international markets through both organic and inorganic routes. Our sustained focus is on achieving our long term goals around creating life-long value for our learners. Our aspiration is to build something that will last for decades,” Raveendran said in the official statement.

The country’s edtech sector has the potential to create global champions by solving the trilemma of cost, quality, and scale, he added,

The founder said that the startup would continue to invest in multiple learning models to provide students with quality education worldwide.

The edtech startup, in its statement, claimed over 150 million learners on its platform with an annual renewal rate of 86%.

Vitruvian managing partner Mike Risman said that Byju’s strong growth and expansion in national and international markets have been very promising.

“We look forward to working with Byju’s as it builds on and accelerates its compelling growth trajectory,” Risman said.

The startup is now doubling down on its offline education play by investing $200 million to open 500 physical tuition centres across 200 cities this year.

BYJU’s aims to enrol one million students under the offline play in the next two years.

The world’s most-valued online tutoring startup had in April 2021 forayed into the offline education market with its acquisition of tutorial chain Aakash Education Services for an estimated cash-and-stock deal worth $950 million.

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