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Byju's valuation surges to $10.5 billion

The deal will be the first investment in India for Bond Capital, which raised a $1.2-billion fund last year and has backed Australian graphic design startup Canva and UK's digital banking app Revolut.

Last Updated: Jun 28, 2020, 12.05 PM IST
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Byju's-Ravindran-BCCL
Byju's claimed that it doubled its revenues from $189 million (Rs 1,430 crore) in FY19, when it was also profitable, to Rs 2,800 crore in FY20.
(This story originally appeared in on Jun 27, 2020)
BENGALURU: Famed Silicon Valley investor and analyst Mary Meeker's Bond Capital has invested in education technology startup Byju's at a valuation of $10.5 billion. The move comes as the sector continues to get consumer transaction and strong investor interest amid the pandemic. The new valuation is a 30% increase from the $8-billion tag Byju's got just in January, and makes it the second-most valued startup in the country after Paytm. With this, Byju's has entered the club of 'decacorn' startups - those valued at over $10 billion.

The company did not disclose the valuation or the investment size, which sources briefed on the matter pegged at below $100 million. The deal will be the first investment in India for Bond Capital, which raised a $1.2-billion fund last year and has backed Australian graphic design startup Canva and UK's digital banking app Revolut.

Byju's has already announced that it has raised $400 million from Tiger Global Management and General Atlantic this year, and sources said that the company plans to mop up about $1 billion in fresh funding this year. The capital is likely to be used by the company to push its global expansion and also for acquisitions. "This crisis has brought online learning to the forefront and has helped parents, teachers and students alike to experience and understand the value of it," said founder and CEO Byju Raveendran in a statement.

The 39-year-old Raveendran had started the company as an offline coaching class for the Common Admission Test (CAT) to enter IIMs back in 2007. Then several of his students joined him in 2009, and in 2011 he registered his company as Think & Learn Private Limited. The company tried out a tablet-based format, but tasted major success after launching an app in 2015. Since then, it has attracted investments from top-tier global investors and seen its valuation jump from $1 billion at the start of 2018 to over $10.5 billion now.

byju

This has been driven by the financial metrics of the company. Byju's claimed that it doubled its revenues from $189 million (Rs 1,430 crore) in FY19, when it was also profitable, to Rs 2,800 crore in FY20. What has helped the company is that revenues from overseas markets, especially the US, have jumped from $25 million to about $70 million in the period, according to a source briefed on the matter.

Byju's also says that it has 57 million registered students, 3.5 million paid subscribers and annual renewal rates as high as 85%. Over the years, it has also entered into a partnership with Walt Disney to use its characters to teach kids, besides also becoming the lead sponsor for the Indian cricket team.

"Byju has built a profitable company and, while education has always been considered a large market, he has been able to mine it well. So, in terms of building a startup, it is the closest to a Silicon Valley story out of India," said Vinod Murali, managing partner at Alteria Capital.
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