Credits: Wikimedia commons

Byju’s has been ruling the edtech industry, spurred on by the swell brought on by the pandemic. Ever since the pandemic forced us to go online to study and teach, the edtech decacorn has gobbled up over $2 billion in external capital. Much of these funds have gone towards both great and epic acquisitions – it even bought premier offline coaching institute Aakash last year for nearly $1 billion.

While the company prepares for a public market debut, it has now closed an $800 million investment round as a part of its pre-IPO fundraise. This includes a personal investment of $400 million by Byju’s founder and CEO Byju Raveendran. The round included participation from investors Sumeru Ventures, Vitruvian Partners, and BlackRock.

With this, Byju’s is now valued at nearly $22 billion, and it plans to utilize the funds for general business purposes. The valuation is almost half of the $40 billion Byju’s is expecting to be valued at when it makes its debut in the public markets. This also comes after the edtech giant had raised nearly $300 million last year in Series F funding.

Ravendraan said that they continued to witness accelerated growth in both India and international markets, something possible due to both organic and inorganic routes. “Our sustained focus is on achieving our long-term goals around creating life-long value for our learners. For that, we are imagining and reimagining the way students will learn, unlearn and relearn in the future. Our aspiration is to build something that will last for decades,” he said.

Byju’s now aims to file papers for an IPO for a debut on the public markets in the next 9-12 months. It is also mulling over the option to go public via the SPAC route. This will entail raising capital by a shell corporation through an IPO for the very purpose of acquiring an existing operating company. Said operating company can later merge with, or be acquired by, the SPAC and become a listed company

After the round, Raveendran has a stake of 25% in Byju’s. An Indian IPO is on the cards as well (you can thank the not-so-impressive performance of tech stocks for that).