Byju raises $75 million from Sequoia India and Sofina
Education-technology company Byju’s has raised $75 million (about Rs 499 crore) from Sequoia India and Belgian investor Sofina to add more products to its learning app and spur international expansion.
“We are predominantly focussing now on maths and science. We will be adding more subjects as well as other grades from an India point of view,” said CEO Byju Raveendran.
“And we will be looking into key international English-speaking markets like the US and the UK.” Currently, Byju’s caters to school students in classes six to 12 and helps students prepare for competitive entrance examinations as well through a combination of original content, watch-and-learn videos, animations and interactive simulations.
Byju’s did not disclose the terms of the transaction or the valuation at which the money was raised. The company had until December 2015 raised Rs 225 crore from Sequoia Capital and Aarin Capital. The app was launched six months ago and presently has 3.5 million downloads and around 1.2 lakh paid annual subscribers. The company has expanded its team by more than 600 people in the past two months.
“Close to half of our users come from outside the top 10 cities. You’ll find students a lot more aspirational, parents who are willing to spend a good percentage of their income towards education there because education is the only way to make it big in India,” said Raveendran, who employs a 500-member research team across three specialised verticals—content creation, media and technology.
“Byju and his team are pushing the boundaries for how immersive media and technology can deliver superior education for millions of students, anywhere and anytime,” said GV Ravishankar, managing director, Sequoia Capital India Advisors. “Among all the tech segments, education will implode over a short period of time since it is one of the largest in terms of need, reach and market, and we see both supply and demand side embracing technology,” said Sanjeev Krishan, leader-private equity, PwC India.