Byju’s, the edtech startup that offers learning programmes for grades VI to XII students and preparation programmes for various exams, has managed to land an impressive sum of $75 million — or approximately₹500 crores — from VC firm Sequoia Capital and Belgian investor Sofina.
The fundraise, which is India’s largest in the niche, is even more impressive considering that it comes from a company that begun operations barely 4 years ago. Founded by Byju Raveendran in 2011, the company offers interactive lessons for classes 6-12 & test preparation for JEE, AIPMT, CAT, IAS, GRE & GMAT.
Despite being a rather new concept — or perhaps because of it — Byju’s been having a roaring success in the cut throat Indian educational system. The company launched its Learning App only last year and already has over 2.5 Mn downloads and 120,000 paid annual subscribers to its credit.
More than 90% of our business is coming through the app. The potential is huge.
said founder Byju Raveendran.
The fact that the app makes all sorts of content available to the student at his/her fingertips including, watch-and-learn videos, rich animations and interactive simulations etc, has a role to play in the upsurge in the app’s popularity.
Speaking on the topic, GV Ravishankar, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India Advisors, said,
At Sequoia we have always partnered with people with disruptive ideas and big vision. What excites us about Byju is not just the market potential but also his sheer commitment and passion to democratize access to education in India in a way that’s never been done before.
The funding also touches upon a significant shift in the trend of investment. Up until now, you had investors pouring money in cab aggregators, delivery services and whatnot. However, things are changing. Indeed, as per a report, the amount of funding raised by Byju, is greater than that raised by all the edtech startups in India in 2015.
Speaking of future plans and how the recently received funds will be of help, Raveendran, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the company, said
Most of the funding will go towards product development, for more subjects in the grades where we already have products and for adding more subjects. We will also add more grades.
He also said that his company wasn’t averse to seeking and expanding in new markets either.
Currently, we are in India and the Middle East. We are also looking at the US, the UK and other commonwealth countries.
The amount of investment also reaffirms Sequoia’s abiding commitment to India and its willingness to sink huge sums into companies that are in its opinion, worth their salt.