In its latest private equity funding round, Indian Education-tech startup Byju’s is all set to raise close to $300 million, at a valuation of $3.5 billion. Through this round, the board at Byju’s will welcome new investors such as General Atlantic, and its early stage backers (including the VC firm Sequoia Capital) are likely to opt for partial or full exits. Sources close to the startup have revealed that an overwhelming amount of interest from cross-domain investors, is at the root of this surprise jump in the firm’s valuation.
Previously, market speculators had pegged Byju’s probable valuation to go as high as $2.4 billion. However, the newly calculated $3.5 billion figure will place Byju’s in the steep end of India’s pyramid of unicorn startups. The ed-tech firm will rank #4, while the top three spots are retained by the digital payments giant PayTM, the cab and food-delivery conglomerate Ola (After its recent acquisition of FoodPanda), and the budget hotel chain OYO Rooms (in that order). It must be noted that Byju’s made its entry into India’s unicorn club only in March this year, after General Atlantic India pumped close to $100 million in the venture, propelling its valuation past the $2 billion mark.
For the uninitiated, Byju’s provides online education services in the K-12 segment. It also provides tutorial services for aspirants who aim to crack massively popular and challenging competitive entrance examinations such as the JEE preliminary and mains, medical entrance tests, civil service examinations, and more. The firm has seen rapid expansion under the aegis and leadership of the veteran educator Byju Raveendran, growing from its early days as the first Asian investment by the Chang-Zuckerberg initiative. A personal interest from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg definitely provided a facelift to the increasingly popular online education provider, allowing them to go global in the truest sense of the word.
In 2017, Byju’s acquired TutorVista Global Private Limited, a popular US-based online tutoring service.
In a span of seven months, Byju’s has seen a remarkable jump in its valuation (from $1 billion to $3.5 billion), which is a definite testament to its potential and acumen for impressive scaling. Byju’s is also set to dissolve speculations about its profitability soon. The firm’s RoC filings are still not available for public perusal. However, they claimed to have crossed the Rs 100 crore monthly revenue mark in June 2018, and expect to become profitable by the end of FY18.