Online Learning App Byju’s Raises Funds From China’s Tencent Holdings
Online Learning App, Byju’s, has now got on board Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. in a fresh $40-million financing round, valuing the Bengaluru company at around US $750 million after the investment reported TOI.
The latest round of funding will help Byju’s accelerate product development for new markets and create a capital pool for acquisitions, the company said.
“Along with expanding outside of India, we will use the funds to make acquisitions in the product space,” said Raveendran, who founded the company in 2007.
This round of funding will help us leverage our expertise in creating highly effective tech-enabled learning programmes to cater to the learning requirements in new markets,” added Raveendran.
Tencent Holdings is a Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed holding firm that owns a plethora of companies in the media, entertainment and internet commerce space. Tencent runs the popular messaging service WeChat in China which is the most popular instant messaging and social payments platform there.
This is the second investment in India this year by Tencent. Earlier it led the US $1.4-billion financing round in Flipkart.
Online Learning App Byju’s began by offering physical coaching classes for students to crack the Common Admission Test (CAT) for the IIMs, but is now largely an online player focused on the Class 4-12 school segment.
“We are excited to have Tencent on board with us. This makes our strong investor portfolio even more diverse,” said Byju Raveendran.
Earlier this month, Byju’s acquired TutorVista and Edurite, two education tech start-ups, from global educations services firm Pearson Plc. TutorVista reportedly gets about 70% of its traffic from the US.
Byju’s said it clocked sales of Rs260 crore in the fiscal year ended March 2017, up from Rs115 crore in the previous year. The company turned profitable in the April-June quarter this year, it said.
“With increased brand awareness and strong adoption amongst students, this year we expect the revenue to double again and we will be profitable on a full year basis,” Raveendran said in a statement.
Byju’s has till date (excluding the current round) raised about $200 million from investors. It is backed by Sequoia Capital and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, $15 million from IFC of World Bank, among others.