Byju’s has secured fresh funds from US-based Bond valuing the ed-tech company at about $10.5 billion, said persons in the know. While Byju’s did not comment on either the size of the investment or the post-money valuation, the amount is believed to be less than $100 million. This is the global technology investment firm’s first India investment and the third fund-raise by Byju’s in 2020.
In all, Byju’s has raised $1.45 billion from investors, including Naspers, Tencent, Verlinvest and Sequoia Capital.
Divya Gokulnath, co-founder & director, Byju’s, had told FE in mid-May that the number of new users had increased by 200% during the lockdown after the entire content on the app was made available free. Gokulnath said Covid-19 was an inflexion point and that parents who may have been averse to online learning would use the company’s products. “We have expanded content, adding social science subjects and are now providing it in almost every major language,” she said.
The free live classes which were to be rolled out in July and August were launched in April due to the lockdown. “We haven’t increased the number of teachers, we have added tutors, mentors, content and strengthened the R&D team,” she said. Byju’s is looking to expand both in India and overseas and Gokulnath said, the firm is looking at a subsidised model of education.
Moreover, it is working on learning games to make it easier for students. It is also in the process of incorporating new technologies with the Osmo acquisition, for instance, leading to integration of computer vision technology.
Byju’s has more than 57 million registered students and over 3.5 million paid subscribers. It nearly doubled revenues to Rs 2,800 crore in FY20 from Rs 1,430 crore in FY19. The firm said it posted net profits of `20 crore on a standalone basis in FY19. In February, Byju’s raised $200 million from General Atlantic which was preceded by a $200-million funding from Tiger Global Management in January.