Bengaluru-based edtech decacorn BYJU’S is in the final stages of closing $200 Mn in equity funding from its existing investors — New York-based asset manager BlackRock along with participation from its latest investor T. Rowe Price, a Baltimore-based investment management firm, according to sources close to the funding talks.
The fresh funding will value BYJU’s at around $12Bn, a 11% markup from its earlier valuation of $10.8 Bn when it last raised an undisclosed round of funding from BlackRock, Sands Capital and Alkeon Capital in September, said one of the sources mentioned above.
“This is a new round, separate from the earlier round that was raised two months ago which also included cash infusion from Black Rock. This current round values BYJU’s at $12Bn,” added the source.
BYJU’S declined to comment on the story when contacted by Inc42.
The Byju Raveedran-led edtech startup has secured more than $1 Bn in equity financing this year alone from multiple categories of investors across venture capital, private equity, and hedge funds, giving it a higher competitive edge over the rest of its competitors in the market.
As investors from multiple categories continue to back BYJU’S at its late-stage rounds, it signals a positive shift for edtech in India, and also the maturing status of the segment. In the past decade alone, as per Inc42 Plus estimates, a total of 4,450 edtech startups have been launched in India to date, spread across various segments such as test preparation, online certification, skill development, online discovery, and STEAM kit and enterprise solutions.
However, a handful of startups including BYJU’S, Unacademy, and Vedantu have all raised major chunks of funding in 2019 and 2020. Between 2014 and H12020, Edtech startups have raised a total funding of voer $2.2Bn across 346 deals.
Bengaluru-headquartered edtech startup Unacademy also became one of the latest entrants in India’s unicorn club (startups with a valuation of more than $1 Bn) when it last raised $150 Mn led by Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank in September 2020.
Founded in 2008 by Divya Gokulnath and Byju Raveendran, BYJU’S offers a learning app, which was launched in 2015 and has learning programmes for students in classes IV-XII along with courses to help students prepare for competitive exams like JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, GRE, and GMAT. Recently, the Startup claimed to have doubled its revenues from INR 1,430 Cr in FY19 to INR 2,800 Cr in FY 2020.
Since the lockdown, it has added over 25 Mn new students on its platform. On August 5, BYJU’S acquired the Mumbai-based online coding platform WhiteHatJr for $300 Mn. Mumbai-based WhiteHatJr is a live online one-to-one coding platform which was acquired by BYJU’s to help break into the growing code-training platform focused on school going students. It currently claims to have a revenue run rate of $150 Mn and has raised $11 Mn from investors like Nexus Venture Partners, Omidyar Network India and Owl Ventures.
Besides the current ongoing fundraise that values the edtech startup at $12Bn, BYJU’S had also raised $122 Mn (nearly INR 909 Cr) from billionaire Yuri Milner-led DST Global as a part of its Series F funding round in August. While in July, the company had also raised $23 Mn in Series F from Mary Meeker’s BOND Capital.