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India’s Education Startup BYJU backed by Chinese Internet Giant Tencent Holdings

The Chinese Internet giant Tencent holdings Ltd. has invested an undisclosed amount on India’s Online Education start-up BYJU’s.  This Online learning App headed by BYJU Raveendran has been growing rapidly and has raised funds from many new sources in the last few months. The company is expected to be valued at around $750 million after this recent round of fresh funding from the Chinese giant. The company representatives told the media that this latest funding round will boost their capital to make new acquisitions and also accelerate their product development.

Tencent has been making multiple investments in India including its recent financing round of $1.4 billion towards the e-commerce giant Flipkart. The executive director of investment and M&A at Tencent, Hongwei Chen told the media that “BYJU’S has emerged as the clear leader in the Indian education-tech sector.” He also told that Tencent shares BYJU’S mission of transforming education by creating personalized learning experiences for students.

BYJU's Education
BYJU’s Education

$200 Million Invested so far

The company received a funding of $75 million from Sequoia during March 2016 and also received a $50 million funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in the same year. The World Bank’s IFC fund had also contributed to the BYJU’s capital by offering $15 million in Dec 2016. BYJU’s has managed to raise more than $200 million so far from its investors across the globe.

Multiple Acquisitions

Byju’s App aims to expand into new locations beyond India using the capital raised and also aspires to increase its profit margins. It closed fiscal 2017 with total revenue of Rs. 265 crores. BYJU’s has made two acquisitions in 2017 alone which includes the Educational Apps TutorVista and Edurite from the British Publishing and education firm Pearson earlier this month and the Bengalurubased Career Guidance service Vidyartha in January for a sum of 50 crore rupees.

The acquisition of TutorVista helped BYJU expand into new markets and to add new range of services like offline coaching for students, digital content and information for K-12 schools, test preparation for students and management of K-12 schools in the US. Based on the reports from Indian tech media outlet The Ken, the deal costed BYJU around $3million. BYJU’s also acquired Edurite which is a subgroup of TutorVista that sells educational DVDs and CDs.

$750 Million Valuation and Growing

During its previous financing round in March 2017, BYJU’s was valued around $650 million but with the latest funding round from Tencent holdings, BYJU’s market value is expected to cross $750 million. Raveendra Byju who leads the company told media that this new round of funding will help in expanding their product portfolio by making new acquisitions.

Byju ‘s was founded in 2007 by offering physical coaching classes for students to crack the most competitive CAT exams (Common Admission Test) which is an entry criteria for entering the world renowned IIMs. Now they are a technology leader in Online Education space and cater to the needs of Class 4-12 school segment.  More than 20 lakh students were using the App as of 2016 who were all free users and they were growing at the rate of 20,000 students every month.


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