Byju’s raises $150 million from Qatar Investment Authority, Owl Ventures

Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of India’s best-funded education start-up Byju’s. Photo: Mint

BENGALURU: India’s most valued ed-tech company, Byju’s, said on Wednesday it has raised $150 million in its latest round of funding led by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar.

This investment marks Owl’s first-ever investment in an Indian start-up. The round also saw participation of Owl Ventures, an education technology investor.

This new round will help Byju’s fund its plans related to international market expansion and creation of highly innovating and engaging learning products for students across the globe.

“Indian ed-tech firms attracting interest from eminent investors demonstrates that India is pioneering the digital learning space globally. High adoption and 85% annual renewal from small towns and cities shows the increasing acceptance of digital learning as a primary tool for learning at home,” said Byju Raveendran, founder and chief executive, Byju’s – The Learning App, in a statement.

Byju’s is positioned as a leader at the intersection of technology, media and content in education. It is a good example of a product company out of India with a business model that combines fast growth at scale with profitability.

“This investment underscores QIA’s strong commitment to the education sector and our focus on investing in leading innovators in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry globally,” Mansoor Al-Mahmoud, CEO of QIA, said.

In December, Bengaluru-based Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, which runs ed-tech startup Byju’s, had raised $540 million in a funding round led by Naspers, a South African tech conglomerate. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) also contributed to the massive funding round.

“With the world’s largest school-age population of 260 million, India’s education sector is at an inflection point. Byju’s has been at the forefront of providing quality auxiliary education to new-age learners. This new partnership with Byju’s reinforces our commitment to creating the best and most unique learning journeys for every student,” said Amit Patel, managing director, Owl Ventures.

Byju’s offers learning programmes for students in classes 1 to 12 in India. With increased brand awareness and strong adoption among students, Byju’s tripled its revenue to Rs1430 crore in FY18-19 and it also turned profitable on a full-year basis. Byju’s has already crossed Rs200 crore in monthly revenue and is estimating revenue of over Rs3000 crore this year.