Bond Capital, a venture capital firm co-founded by former Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker, has invested in ed-tech company Byju’s in its first India transaction.
The investment shows the rising global interest in education technology as digital learning becomes increasingly accepted, Byju's founder and CEO Byju Raveendran said in a statement. He didn’t disclose the amount Byju’s raised.
Meeker, also known as the writer of the influential ‘Internet Trends’ report, had co-founded Bond Capital last year. The firm had raised $1.25 billion for its maiden fund in April last year.
“Endorsed by millions of students, Byju’s has emerged as a clear leader in education technology,” said Meeker, general partner at Bond Capital.
On July 27, digital news platform Entrackr reported cited regulatory filings that Byju’s raised around $23 million from Bond Capital.
The report also said Raveendran, his wife Divya Gokulnath and brother Riju Raveendran hold around 33.45% of Byju’s and that their stake was worth around $3.25 billion.
Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, which operates Byju’s, is India’s most valued ed-tech company. As per recent media reports, the ed-tech unicorn was in talks to raise up to $400 million in fresh capital at a valuation of $10 billion.
Byju’s claims to have over 57 million registered students, more than 3.5 million paid subscribers and annual renewal rates as high as 85%. It has doubled its revenue from Rs 1,430 crore to Rs 2,800 crore in 2019-20.
The company raised $200 million in funding from the US-based Tiger Global Management in January this year. The funding round valued the company at $8 billion.
Byju’s valuation had crossed $5 billion after it raised $31.3 million in a funding round in March last year led by existing investors General Atlantic and Tencent Holdings Ltd. In December 2018, Byju’s had secured $540 million in a round led by South African tech conglomerate Naspers.
Deals in ed-tech
The larger ed-tech segment in India has been the object of investor attention over the last few years. Besides Byju's, Toppr and Unacademy are among other ed-tech startups that have also raised significant funding.
The segment has found greater investor attention after the lockdowns in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic shut down schools and colleges, and prompted students to rely more on online learning platforms.
Ed-tech startups which have raised early-stage funding in the past few months of the lockdown include Any Time Classes, Qin1 nabs and Expertrons. In April, Lido Learning raised $13.5 million as part of its Series B financing, and Matrix Partners and SAIF Partners invested $4 million (Rs 30 crore) in Camp K12.
Recently, the ed-tech arm of Sai Estate Consultants Chembur Pvt. Ltd raised funding from actor and entrepreneur Suniel Shetty.
*This article has been updated to add the amount Bond Capital is investing in Byju's.