The coronavirus pandemic has improved the fortunes of EdTech companies like Byju’s, Unacademy, Vedantu, Toppr, and Class Plus attracting users and raising funds almost effortlessly. Homegrown education technology start-up Byju’s raised $122 million from Russian tech billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Global investment fund as part of its ongoing funding round, one month after storied Silicon Valley investor Mary Meeker’s $23 million Bond Capital chipped at $10.5 billion.
The documents filed with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs showed thatByju’s has issued DST Global with 42,666 Series F preferential shares for a sum of $908.9 crore. According to the reports, the company hopes to raise as much as $400 million in the ongoing round as it raised money from Bond Fund.
So far in this year Byju’s raised about $550 million with Tiger Global and General Atlantic ploughing in $200 million each in January. The round valued the company at just over $8 billion. however, its value has since jumped by another $2 billion showing its success during the Covid-19 pandemic’s initial months. Also, Byju’s had earlier this month purchased White Hat Jr for $300 million, one of the largest acquisitions in the Indian technology ecosystem in 2020. Also, the company is in advanced negotiations to take over Doubtnut, another site for EdTech.
The company’s investor interest was piqued after registered users rose to 57 million, and it soon recruited more than 3.5 million paying subscribers. Byju’s said it’s adding more than 300,000 new subscribers per month at the moment, as schools remain shut across India. At Byju’s, the promoters party – which includes its founder Byju Raveendran, his wife Divya Gokulnath, and brother Riju Raveendran – hold approximately 33.1 percent of the company’s stake worth nearly $3.3 billion. The promoters held a 33.45 percent interest in the EdTech business until the new capital infusion.
Byju’s is not the only EdTech firm that during the pandemic has reaped the benefits of fast growth. It is reported in the previous week that Unacademy was also planning to raise $150 million headed by Japan’s SoftBank at a value of $1.3 billion, or more than two-and-a-half times its previous round valuation. Vedanta, too, has seen its valuation more than double to $600 million since it recently raised $100 million from US-based Coatue Management.
Another EdTech firm, Class Plus, is all set to lift a round of Falcon Edge for $15 million. The Noida-based venture had already raised more than $11 million in two rounds from the Surge Ventures and Blume Ventures of RTP Global Sequoia in May.