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Byju’s becomes India’s third most-valued unicorn with latest funding from Tiger Global

Sandeep Soni

Edtech company Byju's on Thursday announced raising a new round of funding from Tiger Global Management. The company has raised $200 million at a valuation of $8 billion, a company spokesperson told Financial Express Online. With the latest round, Byju’s has become India’s third most valued startup following Paytm valued at around $16 billion and OYO at $10 billion. Walmart-owned PhonePe is currently valued at $7 billion by Morgan Stanley. The new round comes around six months after the company raised $150 million (n July last year) led by Qatar Investment Authority even as the US-based edtech-focused Owl Ventures participated in the round as its first investment in an Indian startup. The company has seen significant improvement in its overall business in the last financial year with a 173 per cent increase in revenue from Rs 500 crore in FY18 to Rs 1,366 crore in FY19 while losses also declined by 76 per cent from Rs 37.15 crore to Rs 8.82 crore for FY18 and FY19 respectively, the RoC filings showed.

This partnership is both a validation of the impact created by us so far and a vote of confidence for our long term vision," Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO, Byju's said in a statement. The company has been raising funds at regular intervals to arguably fuel its expansion regionally as well as internationally. It had introduced a new app called Early Learn in partnership with Disney for students in grades 1-3 even as it is working on launching programmes in local languages for penetration in India's hinterland. Byju's said it will be introducing its Online Tutoring in the coming months. The company had acquired US-based maker of educational games Osmo for $120 million in January last year that was aligned with its K-3 product. "Osmo's acquisition is also towards offering a unique, customized, engaging and fun learning solution for younger kids. The market opportunity is huge," Raveendran had told Financial Express Online earlier last year.

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The edtech company, which was valued at around $6 billion before this round, has "emerged as the leader in the Indian education-tech sector," Scott Shleifer, Partner, Tiger Global said. Over the past 12 months, Byju's claimed more than 42 million registered users and 3 million paid subscribers from both rural and urban areas in India with the annual renewal rates at 85 per cent.

On a standalone basis, the revenue for Byju's core India business increased from Rs 490 crores in FY18 to Rs 1341 crore in FY19 with a net profit of Rs 19.63 crore in FY19, according to the filing shared by Byju's with Financial Express Online. The company has been raising capital at regular period since December 2018 when it raised $540 million from Naspers followed by another three rounds of $332 million in March led by General Atlantic, $31 million in the same month led by General Atlantic again and Tencent Holdings, and $250 million in June led by Qatar Investment Authority, as per deal tracker Crunchbase.