Byju's valuation jumps to $2 bn after General Atlantic's $100 mn infusion

BYJU's founder and Chief Executive Officer Byju Raveendran
Online tutoring start-up Byju’s valuation has reached $2 billion following a $100 million investment by private equity player General Atlantic India in a single tranche for a 5 per cent stake sources aware of the deal confirmed.

The transaction marks GA's first investment in the education space. Founded three years ago, Bengaluru-based Byju’s led by CEO Byju Raveendran, is India’s largest education technology startup and has crossed the Rs 1 billion monthly revenue mark. Byju who is a mechanical engineer by training is looking to close the fiscal year with a revenue target of Rs 14 billions. The firm which began as an offline teaching centre before launching an app to widen student enrolment, and presently offers learning apps that are designed for students for Class IV, V, VI, and VII, as well as preparatory courses for the CAT, IAS, GRE and GMAT exams. The firm aims to teach students by making its offerings interactive, visually animated and fun as opposed to 'learning by rote"."

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One venture capitalist who declined to be named points out to Byju's well organized sales and marketing teams that actually make appointments and visit parents homes while demonstrating how their product adds value. "Parents find it hard to say no to a product that may help their kids do better at school.  He adds that "India has an exam-oriented culture and  preparation for that drives the business."

India has a student body poulation of roughly 300 million people that form a potential market for Byju. Emails sent to General Atlantic and Byju's were not replied to as off press time. General Atlantic's other investments have typically been driven around financial technology ventures and businesses that connect closely with consumers. They include the House of Anita Dongre, IndusInd Bank, PNB Housing Finance, Ching's Secret, KIMS Hospitals, Billdesk, and IIFL Wealth & Asset Management. 
Byju's app has 20 million registered students and 1.26 million annual paid subscribers, and sees 1.5 million registered students join every month. The online tutoring firm which employs over 2000 employees including a product division of 800 members has in the past also acquired Online educational platform that include Vidyartha, Edurite, and TutorVista.  Byju has so far raised money from investors that include The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Sequoia Capital India, Sofina, Light Speed Venture Partners, Belgium-based Verlinvest, Tencent, Times Internet and others. Other companies in the same space are Coursera, and Toppr. 

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