Byju’s, which saw its valuation shoot up to over $5 billion after a fresh funding round led by Qatar Investment Authority in July, has its eyes set on the US, where it plans to launch a wide range of products.
Byju’s, which saw its valuation shoot up to over $5 billion after a fresh funding round led by Qatar Investment Authority in July, has its eyes set on the US, where it plans to launch a wide range of products. Chief strategy officer Anita Kishore speaks to FE’s Asmita Dey about the firm’s business expansion and the areas where it plans to allocate funds. Excerpts:
You have moved from an offline to online model, shifted your focus area from test preparation to core offerings. As you scale up the business, what are you looking at in terms of changing your strategy?
We have fundamentally been educators. What we have been doing in the last few years is widening our coverage of students. We are always on the look out for additions to the products which are interesting and that is why we acquired Osmo. We are also ramping up the business significantly. We are scaling up the Osmo business which is primarily in the US and expanding it by adding depth to the content.
Besides India, are you looking at US as a core market?
Outside India, yes, the US is a large market. We have plans for launching a wide range of products in the US, but we are not disclosing them at this point. The importance of education is very high in markets similar to India — like other Asian markets. The US is the first step since English product is what works in India as well as in the US. The core product that we have developed is in English. But in future, there are a lot of Asian markets which could be very large.
So, do you mean that you might be interested in making foray into Asian markets?
The first set of markets we are looking at are English-speaking countries. We will be focusing on that in the next 12-15 months. Other markets which are non-English speaking will be the next. So, the Asian foray is not on the cards till then.
In July, you raised $150 million led by Qatar Investment Authority. How much of that fund has been utilised and in which areas?
Our India business is already very profitable. Last year, on a full-year basis also, we were profitable. We are looking at a Rs. 3,000-crore revenue this financial year. All the funds we raised, even in the last round, are still in the banks. The reason we raised funds is to continue working on product development.
As we launch in international markets, product building is one area where we will be making substantial investments. Part of the capital will also be used to build the brand and acquire users in the markets.
You have about 2.4 million subscribers. Has your product pricing impacted addition to the subscriber base?
We do not think it has been a challenge. Every time we have investors, they do extensive consumer studies on pricing and other aspects.
In fact, consumers from smaller towns do not think it is expensive at all. It is about the value you deliver.