Bengaluru: India’s online-education startup Byju’s is raising about $1 billion from new investors including B Capital Group, founded by former Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin, Baron Funds and XN, a person familiar with the matter said.
The infusion that values India’s online-lessons platform at about $15 billion is among the largest recent capital increases in India. Existing backers, including private equity giant Silver Lake Management, Owl Ventures and T Rowe Price, are investing about $100 million each in the funding round, which is yet to close, said the person, who did not want to be identified because discussions are confidential.
The startup remains in discussions to close the round with a further $200 to $300 million in the coming weeks at a slightly higher valuation, the person said.
The large investment into Byju’s comes as fundraising by Indian startups reaches a feverish pitch. Half-a-dozen companies announced unicorn-level capital raises earlier this week. A spokeswoman for Byju’s declined to comment on the fundraising.
Byju Raveendran, the education company’s founder and chief executive officer, said in an interview earlier in the week that the platform is looking to make acquisitions to quicken the pace of growth in markets like the U.S. The 39-year-old former teacher and son of educators said the pandemic has dramatically improved attitudes about online learning among teachers, students and parents.
The startup’s K-12 learning app has more than 80 million registered users in India, who mainly learn simplified math and science concepts through animated games and videos.
It is now branching into offline exam preparation as well as one-on-one lessons in coding and math in global markets including the U.S., Latin America and Australia. The online lessons startup’s early investors include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers Ltd. and Tiger Global Management.- Bloomberg
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