India’s Byju’s raises $150 million to expand globally

Byju’s, India’s most valuable edtech startup, has received new $150 million as it races to expand the reach of its learning app in the country and some international markets.

The unnamed ongoing financing round was led by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar, and included participation from Owl Ventures, a leading investor in education tech startups. This is Owl Venture’s first investment in an Indian startup.

The 11-year-old startup, which has raised about $925 million to date and was valued at nearly $4 billion in December last year, said it would use the fresh capital to aggressively explore and expand in international markets. The startup has previously said it plans to enter the U.S. and UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

It acquired Osmo, a U.S.-based learning startup that is popular among kids aged between five and 12 for $120 million early this year. Osmo recently unveiled new products to serve the pre-schoolers market.

Byju’s helps all school-going children understand complex subjects through its app where tutors use real life objects such as pizza and cake. It has amassed more than 35 million registered users, about 2.4 million of which are paid customers. Byju’s generated around $205 million in revenue in the fiscal year that ended in March. It plans to increase that figure to over $430 million this year.

“Investment from prominent sovereign and pension funds validates our strong business fundamentals. Indian ed-tech firms attracting interest from eminent investors demonstrates that India is pioneering the digital learning space globally,” Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of Byju’s said in a statement.

In India, Byju’s competes with a handful of players, including Bangalore-based Unacademy, which is aimed at students who are preparing for graduation-level courses. It raised $50 million last month. India has the largest population in the world in the age bracket of 5 to 24 years. The education space in the nation is estimated to grow to $35 billion in the next six years.

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