Multi-stage investment firm Sequoia Capital is selling a part of its stake in Bengaluru-based Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, which runs ed-tech startup Byju’s, for $185-190 million, a report in The Economic Times stated.
The stake sale is a part of Byju’s recent $540-million funding round, which is led by South African conglomerate Naspers, the report stated. The round has valued Byju’s at $3.3 billion. Besides Naspers, New York-based private equity firm General Atlantic and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board also put in money.
Sequoia has sold around 7% of its shareholding to Naspers and General Atlantic, the report added, citing people in know.
“Sequoia has part-sold shares, earlier to GA and then to Naspers at a $2-2.5 billion valuation. They still remain the largest shareholder after the founder who holds 38% stake in the company,” the report said, citing an unnamed person aware of the development.
The report added that Sequoia had invested around $50 million in Byju’s for a 20-22% stake across multiple rounds and would now own around 13-15% stake post the secondary share sale.
Email queries sent to Sequoia Capital did not elicit any response at the time of publishing this report.
Byju’s $540-million deal has made it one of the most valued ed-tech companies in the world and one of the top five internet startups in India.
In a filing with the Registrar of Companies last week, the company said it raised $322.64 million (around Rs 2,300 crore) led by Naspers Ventures, which put in Rs 1,236.65 crore ($171.88 million) while CPPIB contributed Rs 886.43 crore ($123.20 million). General Atlantic put in the rest through its Singapore-based associate firm.
Following the filing, TechCircle had reported that Byju’s was in talks to raise another $100 million as part of the ongoing fundraising exercise.
China’s 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 are among Byju’s investors.
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.
In 2017, it launched content for students from classes 4 to 5 and now plans to launch an app for students in class 1-3.
Byju's vaulted into the unicorn club in August last year.
The ed-tech company also intends to venture into overseas markets, primarily the English-speaking territories. It has been scouting for distribution partners in markets like the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore among others.