Lazada investor Verlinvest funds Indian edtech startup Byju’s; global expansion, acquisitions on the anvil

Sainul Abudheen

Byju’s is a K-12 learning app with 8 million users and 4,00,000 annual paid subscriptions

Byju’s Founder and CEO Byju Raveendran

Byju’s, a popular K-12 learning app, has secured an undisclosed sum in investment from Verlinvest, a Belgian investment company and investor in Southeast Asian e-commerce company Lazada.

The Bangalore-headquartered startup will use the funding for international expansion and acquisitions, it said in a statement.

“We are very happy to partner with the talented team at Byju’s to expand in India and abroad. A 1:1 learning experience is a dream ratio, and it is very encouraging to see that an Indian company has created a product which closely addresses this need by offering engaging and personalised learning experiences enabled by technology. We have seen a lot of edtech companies, but Byju’s offers personalised learning to an extent which we haven’t seen in any product across the globe. We look forward to supporting the management team to expand to new markets and to further build the brand,” Nicholas Cator, Executive Director of Verlinvest, said.

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“In the last 18 months, we have witnessed exponential growth in India. While these numbers are very exciting, there is a long way to go before we can call it a revolution. The fact that we are still reaching to less than 1 per cent of the student population, shows the immense potential and the impact we can create. In fact, our teams are continuously working towards creating learning products that will enable our efforts to make learning more accessible, engaging and personalised for students,” said Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO of Byju’s.

Launched in 2015, Byju’s is the creator of K-12 learning app which offers adaptive, engaging learning programmes for students in classes 4-12 (K-12) and competitive exams like JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, GRE and GMAT. The app claims to have acquired 8 million users and 4,00,000 annual paid subscriptions to date. It has an average time of 40 minutes being spent by a student on the app every day from over 1700 cities and towns.

Byju’s is one of the hottest edtech startups in India. It has raised over US$174 million in investment to date for its innovation on K-12 learning. In December last year, it received funding from International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. This was followed by a US$50 million in funding round, co-led by Sequoia Capital and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a fund launched by Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan. Previously, Byju’s had raised US$75 million from Sequoia and Belgium-based Sofina in March this year — the largest ever funding round by an Indian edtech company.

Byju Raveendran

Byju Raveendran

In January this year, Byju’s acquired Bangalore-based Vidyartha, a data-driven platform offering customised learning guidance to students.

Founded in 1995, Verlinvest is a private Belgian family investment company with offices in Brussels, New York and Singapore. It specialises in growth capital with the objective to diversify its investors’ holdings for the long term by making private investments in branded consumer companies in the F&B, retail and hospitality, consumer digital and education segments. Some of its portfolio companies include Vitacoco, Sula Wines, Future group, Lazada, XSEED and Global Fashion Group.

Image Credit: Byju’s

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