Byju Raveendran infuses 50% of $800 mn in latest funding round; valuation up at $22 bn

Byju's founder and CEO Byju Raveendran has made a personal investment of $400 million (around Rs 3,060 crore) of the total $800 million (about Rs 6,100 crore) the latest round of funding in the edtech firm. This is understood to have pumped up its valuation at around $22 billion. 

The fundraising round was participated by investors Sumeru Ventures, Vitruvian Partners and BlackRock. 

Byju’s, run by Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, got some of the largest cheques from institutional investors over the past year.

Most recently in October 2021, the edtech decacorn raised close to $300 million in its series F round of funding led by Oxshott Capital Partners.  In June, Byju’s raised $1.5 billion from UBS Group, Abu Dhabi sovereign fund ADQ, and Blackstone Group, among others, at a valuation of $16.5 billion, up from April fundraising of around $15 billion. 

“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. For that, we are imagining and reimagining the way students will learn, unlearn and relearn in the future. Our aspiration is to build something that will last for decades," Raveendran said. 

Over the past months, the of the Bengaluru-based online tutoring company has strengthened its senior leadership team with the appointment of two new vice presidents (VPs) across engineering as well as in reliability, security and cloud engineering. In December 2021, Byju’s had announced the appointment of Rachna Bahadur as the Senior Vice President to lead its global expansion plans. 

Byju's became a unicorn (start-up with a valuation of $1 billion and above) in 2018, has been ramping up its acquisition strategy this year in a bid to enter newer edtech categories of upskilling, test prep and higher learning, while fortifying its presence across key international geographies including the US.

Mike Risman, Managing Partner of Vitruvian said, “As a leader in the edtech space, Byju’s strong growth and expansion in national and international markets has been very promising.  We look forward to working with Byju’s as it builds on and accelerates its compelling growth trajectory.”

In February, Byju’s said it will invest as much as $200 million to operate and expand Byju’s Tuition Centre over the next 12 to 18 months, Mrinal Mohit, chief operating officer, Byju’s, told VCCircle in a virtual interaction. The company hopes to enrol one million students into the programme over the next two years and launch 500 such tuition centres across 200 cities this year. Byju’s hopes to create more than 10,000 jobs across the country with Byju’s Tuition Centre.  

Byju’s offline and hybrid forays follow Aakash Educational Services’ plans of adding more physical centres in 2022. VCCircle recently reported that the company plans to add at least 75 more centres this year. Aakash also claimed it has not given up any of its physical centres since 2020, when the first lockdown was announced after covid-19 emerged.

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