CPPIB, General Atlantic & others back Byju's in Naspers-led mega funding round
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, which operates ed-tech venture Byju’s, has raised $322.64 million (around Rs 2,300 crore at current exchange rates) in a fresh round of funding led by Naspers Ventures, the investment arm of the South African media conglomerate.

According to Bengaluru-based Byju’s filings with the Registrar of Companies, Netherlands-based Naspers Ventures put in Rs 1,236. 65 crore ($171.88 million) while pension fund Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) contributed Rs 886.43 crore ($123.20 million).

New York-headquartered private equity firm General Atlantic put in the rest through its Singapore-based associate firm, the filings revealed. 

A back-of-the-envelope estimate by TechCircle indicated that Byju’s raised the new round at a valuation of $3.29 billion ( Rs 23,726 crore)

In September, Business Standard reported that General Atlantic had invested $100 million in the ed-tech firm at a valuation that crossed the $2-billion mark. 

While General Atlantic’s Rs 199.10 crore ($27.54 million) investment in October valued Byju’s at $2.89 billion, filings show that the company is yet to receive the remainder.

TechCircle has sought comment from Byju’s. The story will be updated as and when a response is received.

Byju's is the most well-funded ed-tech startup in India. It became a unicorn in August last year, a person privy to the development had told TechCircle, though the development was only reported this year.

Led by founder Byju Raveendran, the firm is backed by investors such as Tencent, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg), Belgian family office Verlinvest and the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation.

Byju’s last raised funding in July 2017 from Tencent, which reportedly put in about $35 million (Rs 225 crore) into the startup. The deal valued Byju’s at around $776 million (Rs 5,000 crore).

The company runs learning apps for school students and produces all its content in-house.

The venture originally started off as a coaching platform for competitive entrance exams like IIT-JEE, CAT, UPSC, GMAT, GRE, Engineering/Medical and for students studying in classes 6-12. Later, it launched content for students from classes 4 to 5 last year, helping them further accelerate their growth.

It now plans to launch an app for students in class 1-3 by end of this year.  

In an interview with TechCircle earlier this year, Raveendran had said that Byju's was eyeing Rs 1,200 crore in revenue in 2018-19. He had said the company might break even in 2017-18 after recording a loss of Rs 59 crore in the previous fiscal.

He further said that the company might close with revenue of Rs 510-540 crore in 2017-18.

Byju's posted revenue of Rs 45 crore in 2014-15, Rs 110 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 240 crore in 2016-17.

Byju's also has plans to expand overseas starting with English-speaking territories. It has been scouting for distribution partners in markets like the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore among others.

While scaling up, the company has also made four known acquisitions till date. In its most recent buyout, Byju’s bought math learning platform Math Adventures for an undisclosed sum in July this year.

In July 2017, it bought Pearson-owned Tutorvista and Edurite as part of a single deal.

Six months before that, it had acquired Bengaluru-based learning guidance tool and student profile-builder Vidyartha for an undisclosed amount.

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