The Indian education field is changing. The pandemic may be the reason for the inclusion of technology in different sectors. The education sector is one of the most affected sectors due to the pandemic. COVID 19 has changed the face of the education sector. Now students visit their classes through online Zoom or Microsoft teams. Technology has played a significant part in the educational sector and has shown the world that this sector needs to come up with the involvement of technology in order to succeed and be able to operate in the future. The COVID 19 saw many Indian startups enter the prestigious Unicorn Club; they received huge funding from investors who had their eyes on the working of the startups. Nykaa, Pine Labs, Cars 24 are some of the big names that became a unicorn.
One of the big names in the Indian edtech industry- Byju’s. Founded in 2011 by Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath, Byju is a multinational educational technology firm. It is a privately held business with office in Bangalore and has subsidiaries like Aakash Educational Services, Tutorvista, Tangible Play Inc, and many others. The educational startup gained the status of Unicron in 2018. The journey of the company till it became a unicorn in 2018 is as follows-
2008- Byju Raveendran started CAT (MBA entrance) for CAT training
2009- Started online video classes for CAT
2011- Raveendran registered the company under the name Think & Learning with a focus on the K-12 segment
October 2012- Awarded the fast-growing tech companies in India under Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India
September 2013- Raised USD 9 million in Series A round from Aarin Capital
2014- Launched tablet learning program for competitive exams and for students from class 8th to 12th
July 2015- Raised USD 25 million by Sequoia Capital in Series B Round
August 2015- Introduced Byju’s learning, and more than two million students subscribed to it in less than three months
March 2016- Raised USD 75 million in Series C Round by Sequoia Capital and Sofina
September 2016- Raised USD 50 million in Series D round by Chan Zuckerberg
December 2016- Raised USD 15 million in Series E Round by International Finance Corporation for a minority stake
January 2017- Acquired Vidyartha, a student’s learning platform to increase its personalized learning products, the amount for which is not disclosed
March 2017- Raised USD 30 million in Series F Round from a Famiky based office in Brussels, Verlinvest, thus increasing the value of the company to USD 600 million
May 2017- Became case study at Harvard Business School to show how the technology of the company is having an impact on the students and their learning
July 2017- Acquired TutorVista and Edurite from Pearson
July 2017- Value of the company became USD 670 million and more than 2000 teachers connected vis TutorVista around the world like US, China, Australia.
November 2017- Signed actor Shahrukh Khan as its brand ambassador
March 2018- Became a unicorn with a value of over USD 1 billion
Byjus’s, as announced on June 12, 2021, raised USD 350 million in a new round. The investors for this round were Eric Yuan, the Zoom Founder, and UBS Group, Blackstone. After this round, the value of the company became USD 16.5 billion. The company even revealed that about USD 350 million had been invested by Abu Dhabi government fund ADQ and Phoenix Rising. After the new valuation, Byju’s has left behind Paytm, which was last valued at USD 16 billion and is at the first position among the Indian startups and has become the most valuable Indian startup.
The startup aims to use the funds raised in the acquisition of more startups. It already has acquired Aakash Institutes for almost USD 1 billion in 2021 and is now planning to buy Toppr, an online learning startup, and is currently in talks with US-based Epic.
Since the lockdown happened, online educational applications like Buju’s, Unacademy, Vedantu have grown at a good rate. Byju’s currently has over 80 million users, out of which 5.5 million are the subscribers who are paying. The company is doing really well in numbers and had a revenue of over USD 100 million in the US in 2020. The current run rate of revenue of the company is at USD 800 million and is expecting to reach USD 1 billion in the coming 12-15 months. The startup is growing internationally at a good rate and is a lesson and for sure a case study for many upcoming startups.