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Byju Raveendran: A brief biography
As in 2019
10 things to know about India's newest tech billionaire
It was revealed that when Byju Raveendran – the man behind popular education app Byjus – secured a funding of $150 million, he catapulted in the billionaire’s club. The 37-year-old teacher-turned-entrepreneur is India’s newest tech billionaire. Raveendran’s company Think and Learn also struck a deal with Disney to launch a standalone education app. Here are 10 things that you should know about India’s newest tech billionaire:
Byju Raveendran hails from the coastal village of Azhikode in Kerala.
He worked as an engineer with a UK-based shipping company before turning an entrepreneur
It was in 2006 when Raveendran started coaching students initially for Maths exams
He then helped friends and other students prepare for CAT exams
Raveendran himself achieved a score of 100 percentile in CAT
In 2011, he formed his company called Think and Learn
It was four years later when Byjus, the app was officially launched and within 3 months had seen 2 million downloads
Currently, there are over 35 million students who use Byjus and out of these about 2.5 million are paid subscribers
Byju's is valued at $5.7 billion and is a long-time member of India’s unicorn club (companies with valuation of $ 1 billion)
Byju’s bought the rights of the Indian cricket team’s jersey
2019: Byju’s turns profitable, revenue jumps 174%
Education technology unicorn Byju’s reported an increase of 174% in revenues on a standalone basis to Rs 1,341 crore in the financial year ending March 31, 2019. The company also turned in a profit of a little over Rs 20 crore as compared to a loss of Rs 28.7 crore in the previous fiscal. But on a consolidated basis, the company reported a loss of Rs 8.8 crore as it spent on global expansion, including on acquisitions like USbased Osmo last year.
Byju’s is the world’s most valued education technology company at $5.7 billion and one of the biggest unicorns in India after Paytm, Oyo and Ola. The company counts Canadian pension firm CPPIB, Amsterdam-listed Prosus Ventures and PE major General Atlantic as investors.
Byju’s said it is targeting revenues of Rs 3,000 crore in FY20, doubling the top line. The company said it has 40 million registered users and 2.8 million paid subscribers.
Some of the major areas where Byju’s ramped up spending include advertising and marketing promotion, which increased by close to 150% to Rs 450 crore, and employee expenses which went up 157% to Rs 273 crore.
Byju’s expanded this year to focus on early learners from kindergarten to grade 3 by tying up with US-based media and entertainment conglomerate Walt Disney. This tie-up is aimed at expansion of the company into new English-speaking markets like the US, England and Australia.
2021: acquires Epic, White-Hat
Shilpa Phadnis, July 22, 2021: The Times of India
Byju’s has acquired US digital reading platform Epic, focused on kids 12 and under, for $500 million. The acquisition will bolster Byju’s strategy to grow its footprint in the US. The development is part of the Bengaluru-based edtech player’s plan to invest $1 billion in North America.
Byju’s has made multiple big acquisitions in the past year, including those of White-Hat Jr for $300 million, and Aakash Educational Services for nearly $1 billion. It acquired US-based Osmo, a maker of educational games, for $120 million two years ago. Recently, Byju’s and Walt Disney launched a co-branded learning app targeted at kindergarten to class 3 students.
“Byju’s is redefining the way kids are learning to use tech as a strong enabler, both to create interactive formats that are engaging and, more importantly, to personalise books that are recommended to kids based on their reading proficiency,” Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of Byju’s, said.
Byju’s has to date raised some $2.7 billion from investors, much of that in the past year, and the company was valued at $16.5 billion in the last round of funding.
Epic, Raveendran said, is the largest B2C edtech platform for this age group in the US. “Reading is a powerful format of learning. By creating a love of reading, you’re creating a love for learning,” he said. Epic’s global user base includes more than two million teachers and 50 million kids, a number that has doubled over the past year. The company works on a subscription model.
Epic co-founder & CEO Suren Markosian said that the platform is designed to personalise reading for kids, putting the right book in front of the right child. “Epic adjusts to their interest levels and the platform learns and grows with the child,” he said. The company has 150-odd employees. Markosian and co-founder Kevin Donahue will remain in their roles. Epic has raised $51 million in funding to date.
Byju’s has made many acquisitions in the past year, like WhiteHat Jr for $300mn and Aakash for $1bn. It bought Osmo, a US-based educational games, firm for $120mn two years ago
Byju’s acquires Great Learning, Toppr
July 27, 2021: The Times of India
Byju’s has bought Singapore-based Great Learning, which specialises in online higher and professional education, for $600 million, and Toppr, which provides online content for schools and competitive exams, for $150 million. The firm has done some 15 acquisitions to date, spending nearly $3 billion. Last week, it acquired US digital reading platform Epic, focused on kids aged 12 and under, for $500 million.