Edtech unicorn Byju’s turns profitable, crosses Rs 100 crore monthly revenueAthira Nair
Bengaluru-based edtech startup Byju’s claims to have turned profitable, after crossing Rs 100 crore in monthly revenue last month. The seven-year-old company has been growing at 20 percent monthly, and has revised its annual revenue target to Rs 1,400 crore this year, from Rs 1,300 crore it had planned earlier.
The company has raised $244 million from investors including Tencent, Chan-Zuckerberg Foundation, Sequoia Capital, and LightSpeed Ventures, among others. Its revenue in FY2017 was Rs 247 crore with losses of Rs 59 crore as per RoC data.
Out of the 15 startup unicorns in India, only InMobi has been profitable so far. The country's most famous startup, ecommerce leader Flipkart, was recently acquired by US retail giant Walmart and is yet to turn profitable.
Byju’s claims that the learning app has 20 million registered students and 1.26 million annual paid subscribers. The app also sees an addition of 1.5 million registered students every month. Byju’s has been growing at 100 percent annually since its learning app was launched in 2015, thanks to the 85 percent renewal rate from subscribers.
In a press release, Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO, says, “The launch of the personalised version of our app last year further helped us boost engagement and enhanced the learning experience for our students. Students and parents trust, understand, and believe that our products add immense value to them, and this constantly motivates us to create unique and innovative learning programmes for them.”
Leading the market
A report by KPMG and Google pegs the edtech market to touch $1.96 billion by 2021, with close to 9.6 million users from $247 million and over 1.6 million users in 2016. Although the ed-tech market in India has flourished with multiple players like UpGrad, Simplilearn, Udacity, and Great Learning, Byju’s is the only one with a billion dollar valuation.
Byju’s builds personalised learning for every student, powered by deep knowledge graphs of over 60,000 concepts and relationships, which design personal learning journeys - videos, questions, adaptive flows, quizzes, flashcards, correctional learning videos etc.
According to India Brand Equity Foundation, India occupies a crucial place in the global education ecosystem, with its over 1.4 million schools with 227 million students. Thanks to the growing number of users willing to pay for online education, Byju’s has been able to make the best of an unexplored opportunity.
Apart from its initial flagship learning app for students studying in classes six to 12, Byju’s launched another learning app for students in Class 4 and 5 last year, along with a parent connect app. Byju’s plans to launch an exclusive app for students in Class 1 and 3 by the end of this year. Byju’s also caters to aspirants of CAT, IAS, GMAT, and GRE exams.
Last year, Byju’s acquired Bengaluru-based edtech startup Vidyartha, which offers customised learning for school students. The company also acquired TutorVista and Edurite from Pearson, the global learning behemoth, which established its India arm in 1998. (TutorVista, the Bengaluru-based online tutoring brand catering to school and college students in the US, had been acquired by Pearson in 2011.) Although the partnership is focused on expanding international reach and creating a diverse product portfolio, Byju’s is yet to venture outside India.