Byju's has raised a fresh $800 million in funding from a clutch of investors including Sumeru Ventures, Vitruvian Partners, and BlackRock. Founder & CEO Byju Raveendran has also backed the investment, infusing about $400 million into the company in personal capacity. The latest funding values the startup at about $22 billion, said a source aware of the discussions.
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 startup has a strong presence in the key K-12 segment that covers the bulk of the school students. In 2020 alone, Byju's has raised about $1 billion from a bunch of investors including Bond, Tiger Global and General Atlantic. Last year, the startup raised capital from a diverse set of investors in tranches taking the yearly fund count to well over $1.5 billion. The company's total fund tally now stands close to $5 billion.
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. "We continue to witness accelerated growth in India and international markets through both organic and inorganic routes," Byju Raveendran said in a statement.
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 US.
The firm's standalone revenue from operations stood at ₹2,110.02 crore as of FY20, a y-o-y rise of nearly 65% while net profits increased by over 150% y-o-y to touch ₹50.76 crore. On a consolidated basis though, the startup's FY20 losses shot up to ₹262.13 crore from ₹8.82 crore in FY19, the company's filings with the RoC sourced from business intelligence platform Tofler showed.
The funding announcement by Byju's comes on a day rival Unacademy unveiled its plans to go hybrid with the launch of brick-and-mortar stores and intention to go public in about 18 months.
"I have always believed that edtech is a sector where India has the potential to create global champions by solving the trilemma of cost, quality, and scale. We will continue to invest in multiple learning models to provide students with quality education across the world….our aspiration is to build something that will last for decades," Raveendran added.
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