Edtech unicorn Byju’s scoops up $250 mn in internal round

 Edtech unicorn Byju’s scoops up $250 mn in internal round

Indian ed-tech company Byju’s, which has been under fire over the past many months over its accounting practices, delayed payments and for sacking hordes of people, said Monday it has raised $250 million in an internal round from its existing backers.

It did not say if all the existing investors participated but noted that Qatar Investment Authority was among those who chipped in again. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund had led a $150 million round three years ago.

Byju’s existing investors include Owl Ventures, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Sequoia Capital India, Silver Lake, BlackRock, Bond, Sands Capital Management, Alkeon Capital Management, Sofina, Verlinvest, Tencent, Naspers Ventures, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), General Atlantic, Tiger Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Times Internet, Aarin Capital and IFC.

Separate media reports said the company raised fresh capital at a valuation of $22 billion, the same level at which it had garnered money earlier this year.

It is not clear if the reports referred to this as the post-money valuation or pre-money. If it is the latter, it means the valuation has fallen in dollar terms but the valuation in rupee terms has increased 6.5% to around Rs 1.81 trillion as against Rs 1.69 trillion in March. The Indian currency has slid by the same quantum against the dollar during the period.

Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of Byju’s, said, “Byju’s is now at that sweet spot of its growth story where the unit economics and the economies of scale both are in its favour. This means the capital that we now invest in our business will result in profitable growth and create sustainable social impact.”

He said that even if there are adverse macroeconomic conditions, the year ending March 31, 2023 will be the best ever for the edtech venture in terms of revenue, growth and profitability.

Byju’s had reported a net loss of Rs 4,588 crore in the year ended March 2021, almost 20x compared to FY20, after it changed its revenue recognition practice.

The company is projecting to hit revenues of Rs 15,000 crore in the current financial year.

It is now looking to achieve group-level profitability by March 2023 after group consolidation of K10 assets though others like Aakash Education and Great Learning will continue to be run as independent firms.

Vivek Sinha

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