Byju’s, the unicorn edtech behemoth, that has continued to reel in external cash amid exponential growth, has landed yet another high profile investor to its cap table. The company has now raised money from the first ever female-founded VC firm ‘Bond’. The $1.25Bn VC fund was co-founded by Mary Meeker, writer of the influential ‘Internet Trends’ report and former Kleiner Perkins member.
While there has been no official work on valuation, media reports are pegging the same at $10.5 Billion. If that were true, Byju’s will now mark its entry into the super-exclusive ‘Decacorn’ club, an unofficial term used for private companies valued at $10Bn or more.
The fundraise comes right on the heels of a report that suggested a $10Bn valuation for this new raise.
With this fundraise, Byju’s has now become the second most valued startup from India, edging ahead of now troubled budget hotel chain, Oyo Rooms. At present, digital payments giant Paytm is leading the way with a $16Bn market valuation. Flipkart was the crown jewel earlier, which it ceded to Paytm post the company’s blockbuster Walmart acquisition.
Mary Meeker’s BOND debuted last year in April, when it raised $1.25 Billion from some of the biggest names in the industry. In the process, BOND became the first ever VC fund to have been co-founded by a female founder. According to reports that came out at that time. Meeker spun-out from the Kleiner Perkins growth investing practice in September 2018 to form Bond, due to an internal power struggle between her and Mamoon Hamid.
“Endorsed by millions of students, Byju’s has emerged as a clear leader in education technology,” said Mary Meeker, General Partner at BOND. “We are excited to support a visionary like Byju and his team in their quest to continue to innovate and shape the future of education.”
“This partnership is a testament to the role that BYJU’S is playing in helping students learn better by customizing our platform to their abilities. It also demonstrates the rising global interest in education technology as digital learning becomes increasingly accepted and embraced”, said Byju’s founder Byju Raveendran.
In the past 4 months or so, Byju’s has raised over $400 Million in external capital from Tiger Global and General Atlantic. Valuations are officially unknown, but reports have suggested that the last round pegged the company’s valuation at $8 Billion.
eLearning companies have been among a very few, who have seen a surge in user metrics. Not just Byju’s, but other elearning companies too, such as Facebook-backed Unacademy, professionals-focused Udemy among others have seen growth in numbers too. And while growth in most other sectors is being considered temporary, education is expected to witness a sea change in how learning is imparted. Online learning could become a crucial part of a child’s learning curve going forward, hence the big bets on these edtech companies.