MORE FROM KrASIA

Edtech giant Byju’s raises undisclosed amount from American VC firm Bond

The latest deal is likely to be under USD 100 million and values the nine-year-old edtech firm at about USD 10.5 billion.

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

San Francisco headquartered venture capital firm Bond, co-founded by high-profile American investor Mary Meeker, has joined the cap table of the world’s largest edtech startup, Bjyu’s.

The Bengaluru-based firm on Friday said that it has raised a new round of funding from Bond, but did not disclose the actual amount. Reportedly, the latest deal is likely to be under USD 100 million and values the nine-year-old edtech firm at about USD 10.5 billion.

This is Bond’s first investment in India. So far, Bond has made about nine investments including Canva, Checkr, Cockroach, Hippo, and Nextdoor, according to the VC firm’s website. Byju’s will be its tenth investment.

In April 2019, months after leaving Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, Meeker co-founded Bond with USD 1.25 billion in capital commitments to invest in global technology giants.

During their partnership with Kleiner Perkins Digital Growth Funds, Meeker and her co-investors in Bond have backed scores of industry pioneers such as Spotify, Square, Slack, Uber, JD.com, Twitter, Facebook, and Doordash among others.

Startup

Read this: US H-1B visa suspension could be a boon for Indian startup ecosystem

According to TechCrunch, Byju’s was engaged in talks with investors to raise up to USD 400 million at the valuation of USD 10 billion.

“We are happy to partner with an investor like Bond,” Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO, Byju’s, said in a statement. “This partnership is a testament to the role that Byju is playing in helping students learn better by customizing our platform to their abilities. It also demonstrates the rising global interest in education technology as digital learning becomes increasingly accepted and embraced.”

Mary Meeker, General Partner at Bond said in a statement that Byju’s, endorsed by millions of students, emerged as a clear leader in education technology. “We are excited to support a visionary like Byju and his team in their quest to continue to innovate and shape the future of education,” she said.

Since the healthcare crisis descended upon the world early this year, Byju’s and a clutch of other edtech startups came into the limelight during the two-month lockdown that India imposed in late March to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For millions of students stuck at home, Byju’s and other edtech companies made their content free.

“This crisis has brought online learning to the forefront and has helped parents, teachers, and students alike to experience and understand the value of it,” Raveendran said.

Currently, Byju’s claims to have 57 million registered students, of which six percent or more than 3.5 million are paid subscribers. The company claims to have annual renewal rates of 85%. It doubled its revenue to INR 2,800 crore (USD 370 million) for the financial year ended in March 2020.