Startups

As valuation touches $8 bn, Byju’s pips Ola as 3rd largest unicorn in India



Education technology company Byju’s is learnt to have raised $200 million in a funding round from Tiger Global Management, which has valued the Bengaluru-based start-up at around $8 billion, making it the third-largest unicorn (start-up valued over $1 billion) in the country.


With this, the Byju Raveendran-founded company has seen over 50 per cent jump in its valuation in just around nine months. In March 2019, Byju’s was valued $5.4 billion, when it raised around $31 million from General Atlantic, and Chinese investment giant Tencent.



At the current valuation, Byju’s has now replaced home-grown cab-hailing major as the third-largest unicorn, next only to Paytm and OYO, which are valued around $16 billion and $10 billion, respectively.


Byju’s confirmed the transaction through a press statement, though the company declined to share any specific details of the deal. Tiger Global could not be immediately reached for its comments.


“We are happy to partner with a strong investor like Tiger Global Management. They share our sense of purpose and this partnership will advance our long-term vision of creating an impact by changing the way students learn,” said Raveendran. “This partnership is both a validation of the impact created by us so far and a vote of confidence for our long-term vision.”



This is Tiger Global’s first investment in the edutech space in India after Vendantu, an online tutoring platform, where it, along with WestBridge Capital, led a $42-million round in August.


An early backer of India’s internet growth story, the New York-headquartered Tiger Global has been a prolific investor in the Indian start-up space. Its portfolio in the country ranges from consumer focused e-commerce that are vital for the growth of the sector, such as Flipkart, Delhivery, Grofers, Quikr and PolicyBazaar, to mention a few.


After tasting success with Flipkart, one of its earliest investments, where it had pumped in around $1 billion, the PE major is now doubling down its focus on the Indian start-up space, under its new investment head Scott Shleifer.


Shleifer, who set up international private equity practice for Tiger Global, is said to be as aggressive deal maker like his predecessor Lee Fixel, who left the investment firm in March. Since then, Tiger has also invested in a host of technology-focused in diverse sectors including Ninjacart, CRED, NoBroker and Facilio to mention a few.


“Byju’s has emerged as the leader in the Indian education-tech sector. They are pioneering technology shaping the future of learning for millions of school students in India,” Shleifer was quoted in the press statement issued by the edutech firm.



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