Byju Raveendran, the founder of BYJU's learning app, has joined the billionaire club. The Bengaluru-based learning app's parent firm, Think & Learn Private Ltd recently raised $150 million led by Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund in Qatar. The deal placed the education app's value at nearly $6 billion polevaulting Raveendran into the billionaire club.
The latest round funding in Byju's also included maiden investment from Owl Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund. Owl invests in education technology companies globally.
Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, which runs Byju's, grew its revenue threefold in 2018-19 to Rs 1,430 crore and turned profitable on a full-year basis, according to media reports. In April 2019, BYJU'S crossed Rs 200 cr in monthly revenue and was expecting a revenue of over Rs 3,000 crore this year.
Raveendran, a former school teacher owns over 21 percent stake in the company, according to media reports.
Founded in 2008 by Divya Gokulnath and former teacher Byju Raveendran, BYJU'S offers a learning app, was launched in 2015. Raveendran developed the education app. It offers learning programmes for class 6-12 and test preparation for competitive exams JEE, AIPMT, CAT, IAS, GRE & GMAT. It 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. It claims to have 35 Mn registered users with 2.4 million paid subscribers.
The online tutoring app has got a who's who list of people backing it. Byju's has raised over $240 million from Tencent, Verlinvest, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Aarin Capital, among others. In July 2017, it raised about $40 million from Tencent, after raising $30 million from Verlinvest some months earlier.
Early in June, Byju's said it is rolling out a new app with The Walt Disney Company. It is aimed at teaching math and science with cartoon characters like Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse to children aged 6-8 years.
"I am inspired by Roger Federer. At 35, or 37, he's playing better than he was at 21 or 24. That is what I aim to do. Compete against myself. And, create leaders who are better than me," said Byju to BusinessWorld in a recent interview.