New Delhi/Bengaluru: Byju’s raised about $100 million from US technology investor Bond, propelling the education startup to a $10.5 billion valuation. The latest fundraise has made Byju’s the India’s second-most valued startup , overtaking hospitality unicorn Oyo, which was last valued at $10 billion. Paytm was valued at $16 billion late last year when it raised $1 billion in a round led by T Rowe Price and existing investors Ant Financial and SoftBank Vision Fund. Byju’s raised the capital from Bond, co-founded by Mary Meeker, at a valuation of $10.5 billion. Byju’s had in January raised $200 million from Tiger Global. At the time, the ed-tech platform was valued at around $8 billion. Byju’s did not disclose the funds it raised from Bond. A person familiar with the matter, who declined to be named, pegged the investment amount at about $100 million.
The person said talks are on with more investors and Bjyu’s would likely raise more capital in the coming months. “We are happy to partner with an investor like Bond,” said Byju Raveendran, founder and chief executive. “This partnership is a testament to the role Byju’s 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.” This is the first time Bond has backed an Indian startup. Mary Meeker is an American venture capitalist and former Wall Street securities analyst who is well-known for her global Internet Trends report. The new fundraise comes at a time when the edutech startup has been stepping-up hiring.
Mint reported on Thursday that Byju’s is set to hire around 4,000 employees in the next six months to meet a surge in demand for its online courses. “This crisis has brought online learning to the forefront and has helped parents, teachers & students alike to experience and understand the value of it,” Raveendran said. It has over 57 million registered students, over 3.5 million paid subscribers and annual renewal rates at 85%. It doubled revenue from ₹1,430 crore to ₹2,800 crore in FY20. “It has emerged as a clear leader in education technology,” said Mary Meeker, General Partner at Bond. “We are excited to support a visionary like Byju and his team in their quest to continue to innovate and shape for the future of education.”