Education technology startup Byju's is clearly on a roll. The online tutoring firm has hit headlines several times in the last few weeks and now has landed a fundraising deal with Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Limited. The firm already has a list of renowned investors such as the Chan Zuckerberg initiative and Sequoia Capital.
While the exact value of the investment has not been revealed, a source told TechCrunch that the amount could be in the range of Rs 5,000 crore ($800 million). Tencent, which already invests in Indian firms such as Flipkart, Practo and Hike, seems impressed with the way Byju has been growing and functioning to emerge as a market leader.
"BYJU'S has emerged as the clear leader in the Indian education-tech sector. We share BYJU'S mission of transforming education by creating personalized learning experiences for students," Hongwei Chen, executive director of investment and M&A at Tencent, said, according to TC.
Tencent's funding is set to help Byju in product development for existing as well as new markets. "This makes our strong investor portfolio even more diverse. At Byju's, we have been fortunate to have investors who have always played a crucial role as partners in our growth story. 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," the Economic Times quoted Byju Raveendran, founder of Byju's as saying.
The firm, which started operations in 2011, has witnessed a funding of over $200 million before Tencent's investment. While Sequoia invested $75 million last March, the Chan Zuckerberg initiative put in $50 million in the company. Later, the World Bank's IFC fund invested about $15 million in December.
Apart from the fundraising spree, Byju's has also been in the news for its acquisitions. Earlier this month, the online tutoring firm acquired TutorVista and Edurite from global education brand Pearson Plc. While the acquisition is said to be big, the deal value is yet to be disclosed.
"This partnership will enhance our product offerings and give us access in some of the new markets when we launch our international products. We are excited to work with the talented and experienced team who will come on-board as a part of this acquisition," Live Mint quoted Raveendran as saying.
"We strongly believe that a product like ours can change the way students learn all across the world. Today, with a wider bandwidth, we have started creating similar products for the international markets that further boost our reach as well as product portfolio."
While Bangalore-based TutorVista acquired Edurite in 2007, Pearson acquired a stake in TutorVista in 2009 and bought the entire stake in February 2013.