Byju in talk for $200 million fund raise at a valuation of $12 billion

Online education startup Byju’s is close to raising $200 million in fresh capital from US investment firms BlackRock and T. Rowe Price at a valuation of $12 billion, said a person familiar with the matter. BlackRock is an existing investor in the firm.

Byju’s has other investors including Tencent, Prosus , Owl Ventures, Sequoia, Mary Meeker’s Bond Capital, and General  Atlantic at a valuation of $10.8 billion. The capital being raised would be used for global expansion as well as to finance acquisitions to strengthen its offerings. Earlier this year, it acquired code-learning startup WhiteHat Jr in a $300-million cash deal.


BlackRock, Sands Capital, and Alkeon Capital joined as new investors, as part of the same round later, with valuation climbing to $11.1 billion.

With the pandemic accelerating the adoption of online education in India, the sector has seen an increase of nearly four times in investments at $1.5 billion in the first nine months of 2020, compared to $409 million in the whole of 2019, according to data from Venture Intelligence. Since the lockdown, Byju’s has added over 25 million new students on its platform. The app has over 73 million registered students and 5.1 million annual paid subscriptions. It has also introduced an online tutoring programme Byju’s Classes to cater to the after-school learning needs of students. Learning programmes in multiple vernacular languages like Hindi, Kannada, Bengali, Malayalam, and Gujarati have been introduced during the lockdown too.

The surge in investor interest also catapulted Byju’s into India’s second-most valuable startup, also earning it the decacorn status—the handful of startups that are valued at more than $10 billion.

“Byju’s is not only eyeing international expansion actively but also looking at strategic inorganic growth,” said a second person, requesting not to be named.

Companies such as Byju’s and Unacademy are benefiting from the willingness of families to spend a big chunk of their income on education and tutoring to give their children an edge amid rampant unemployment.