The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Byju's app, Byju Raveendran, has become the latest entrant in the billion-dollar club from the Indian startup ecosystem. Raveendran, a former classroom teacher, joined the exclusive club after his Think & Learn Pvt secured $150 million in funding earlier in July. The Edtech startup founder now has joined the leading list of billionaires from the Indian startup ecosystem, including Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, Paytm founder Vijay Shekar Sharma and Zerodha Co-founder Nitin Kamath.
Indian cricket team sponsor
The latest round of funding has propelled Byju's valuation to $5.7 billion in which its CEO, Raveendran, holds more than 21 percent stake. Over the years the company has witnessed remarkable success and growth with its valuation touching almost $6 billion in just seven years. Recently, Byju's became the new official sponsor of Team India until March 2022. The Bengaluru-based firm replaced the current cricket team sponsor Oppo Mobiles India Private Limited. Byju's will be seen on team India's jersey from September 2019 where South Africa would be touring India.
Byju has an aggressive expansion plan where it will be teaming up with Walt Disney Co. and taking its service to the United States by early next year. Byju's would be offering courses to kids from first grade to third using animated characters in Disney through videos, games, stories and interactive quizzes. "Kids everywhere relate to Disney's Simba or Moana, who grip kids' attention before we take them through the loop of learning," said Raveendran. "We are customising Disney Byju's to the American and British school curriculum, the characters have universal appeal," he further added.
Unique education content
Byju is banking on the deeper mobile penetration and cheaper internet connection in India, which has eventually acted as a catalyst for online learning. As per a report published in Bloomberg, education technology has become one the fastest growing segment in India's internet market. "Indian education startups are well set to seize the global opportunity given that they already cater to a large English-speaking base and have created unique education content," said Anil Kumar, chief executive officer of Redseer Management Consulting Pvt. Ltd. In last one year, Byju's has secured a total funding of $969.9 million from leading global investors including Qatar Investment Authority, Naspers Ventures, Tencent Holdings, General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital and Facebook-founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan.