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Byju’s founder backs startup in $800 million funding at $22 billion valuation – TC

Byju Raveendran, the co-founder and chief executive of eponymous Indian edtech giant Byju’s, has invested $400 million into the startup, the two said on Friday.

His backing is part of a larger $800 million round Byju’s has secured, the Bengaluru-headquartered startup said.

Sumeru Ventures, Vitruvian Partners and BlackRock also invested in the round, a name of which the startup did not disclose. The round values Byju’s at about $22 billion, a person familiar with the matter said. The financing comes at a time when Byju’s is widely expected to file for an initial public offering.

Thanks to the new investment, Raveendran and his family’s holding moves to 25% in the startup, a rare instance for the Indian startup community.

“We continue to witness accelerated growth in India and international markets through both organic and inorganic routes,” he said.

“Our sustained focus is on achieving our long-term goals around creating lifelong value for our learners. For that, we are imagining and reimagining the way students will learn, unlearn and relearn in the future. Our aspiration is to build something that will last for decades.”

The startup — which prepares students pursuing undergraduate and graduate-level courses, and in recent years expanded to serve all school-going students — said it has amassed 150 million users, up from the roughly 80 million it disclosed early last year. The startup said its annual renewal rate is 86% and NPS stands at 76.

Byju’s, which has raised over $2.5 billion since the beginning of the pandemic, has used a significant portion of its recent fundraises to acquire firms. It bought Aakash, one of the largest coaching institutes for high-school students, with over 200 centers, for nearly $1 billion last year. It also purchased Great Learning, U.S.-based Epic and kids coding platform Tynker for over $1.2 billion in cash and stock deals.

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