On Thursday, education startup Byju's announced raising $50 million in a round co-led by Mark Zuckerberg’s and Priscilla Chan’s investment arm The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) and Sequoia Capital, along with investors Sofina, Lightspeed Ventures, and Times Internet Ltd. The funding has been raised to fuel their international expansion.
This also marks the first investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in Asia.
It was only in March this year that the startup had raised a heavy round of $75 million from Sequoia Capital and Sofina. Further, it was reported that the company was looking to close this round in July.
The company uses original content, engaging video lessons, and interactive activities to personalise learning for each student. It works to adapt to the unique learning style and pace of every student.
Earlier, in an official statement, the company claimed that Byju’s Learning App was witnessing a profit and a monthly growth of 15 percent. In June 2016, the revenues for the firm stood at Rs 30 crore.
The app has crossed five-and-a-half million downloads, while having over 2,50,000 paid subscribers. The app also sees an average engagement rate of 40 minutes per day and 90 percent of users have renewed their subscription.
Speaking about the investment, Vivian Wu from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, who will join Byju’s board said,
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative supports innovative models of learning wherever they are around the world. Byju's represents an opportunity to help even more students develop a love for learning and unlock their potential.
Founder and CEO Byju Raveendran said,
We are excited to partner with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to usher in the next stage of growth at Byju's. Our vision closely aligns with their vision of advancing human potential and promoting equality.
According to GV Ravishankar, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India Advisors, it was Byju’s continued growth in more than 1,400 towns which made them reinvest in the edtech startup.
Despite having invested in multiple edtech ventures in the US, China, and India, according to Dev Khare, Managing Director, Lightspeed India Partners Advisors, Byju’s sustained market leadership and transformation made it a compelling reason for the venture firm to invest in the business.
Reportedly, the edtech segment raised $85 million in the year that ended on March 31. With Simplilearn, Embibe, and Toppr being just some of the players, it seems like Indian edtech startups are finally getting the international attention they deserve. Last year, Simplilearn acquired Silicon Valley-based Market Motive in a $10 million deal.
This round of funding has given Byju's a leg-up in this segment, creating a buzz in the sector.