Indian educational technology major Byju’s has been selected as the official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup 2022, the company announced on Thursday. With this, the Byju Raveendran-led company has become the first Indian entity as well as the first edtech player to be associated with the football world tournament.

The FIFA World Cup is scheduled to kick off from November 21 this year in Qatar. The final match of the global tournament will be played on December 18. The most prestigious tournament in football, organised every four years, is one of the biggest sporting events and the biggest single-sport event in the world, reaching billions of people.

“We are excited to be sponsoring the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the biggest single-sport event in the world. It is a matter of pride for us to represent India on such a prestigious global stage and champion the integration of education and sport. Sport is a big part of life and brings together people across the world. Just as football inspires billions, we at Byju’S hope to inspire the love of learning in every child’s life through this partnership,” said Byju’s founder and CEO Byju Raveendran on the association with FIFA World Cup.

Under this association, Byju’s can access FIFA World Cup 2022 marks, emblem and assets, and run unique promotions. It will also create engaging and creative content with educational messages as part of a multifaceted activation plan.

“FIFA is dedicated to harnessing the power of football towards the goal of enacting positive societal change. We’re delighted to be partnered with a company like BYJU’S, which is also engaging communities and empowering young people wherever they may be in the world,” said Kay Madati, FIFA’s Chief Commercial Officer.

“We look forward to supporting the promotion of BYJU’S educational learning opportunities, as well as having them join the global drumbeat of excitement for the FIFA World Cup 2022 through its association with this groundbreaking tournament,” he added.

Present across 120 countries in the world, Byju’s has a customer base of around 150 million students. A decade after its launch, the company offers varied educational programmes, ranging from kindergarten to class 12, as well as competitive exams preparation, early learning and coding, and professional upskilling courses through its subsidiaries Osmo, Tynker, Epic, Great Learning, Aakash, and Toppr.

In a recent funding round earlier this month, led by Sumeru Ventures, Vitruvian Partners, and BlackRock, Byju’s raised $800 million. CEO Raveendran also backed the investment, infusing about $400 million into the company in personal capacity. This latest funding took the edtech company’s valuation to $22 billion.

Byju's has been on a fundraising spree since the onset of the pandemic as students across the country subscribed to edtech platforms to add to their learning amid closure of schools. The fresh capital will add to the company's reserves which it has been largely tapping into for acquisitions. Byju's spent over $2 billion on acquisitions last year as it looks to widen its geographical footprint and gain foothold in new verticals like upskilling.

Byju's which claims to have about 150 million learners globally has also doubled down on India with the recent launch of brick-and-mortar tuition centres. The startup is eyeing some one million students with the offline foray.

The firm is now gearing up for an IPO in the next 9-12 months and is evaluating possibilities of listing in either India or the U.S.

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