New Delhi: Education technology start-up Byju’s (Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd) on Sunday said it is in advanced talks to raise $50 million from multiple new investors. In March, it had raised $75 million in a funding round from US-based Sequoia Capital and Sofina of Belgium.
On 23 July, International Finance Corp., an arm of the World Bank, proposed to invest $15 million in equity for a minority stake in Byju’s, according to multiple media reports.
The funds raised will be used to fuel international expansion and acquisitions, the firm said. Outside India, Byju’s has operations in West Asia. It is planning to enter the US, the UK and the Commonwealth countries over the next few months.
Founded by Byju Raveendran in 2011, the Bengaluru-based firm offers learning programmes for students in Class VI-XII and preparation programmes for competitive exams. Last year, it launched a learning app that has been downloaded more than five million times so far.
By providing content that deploys movie-making tools and graphics, the app aims to make learning contextual and visual. The firm says it has over 200,000 paid subscribers, with 30,000 added over the past one month. It also claims to have high user engagement, with each student spending an average time of 40 minutes on the app every day.
“We are seeing strong inbound interest from multiple investors over the last few months, thanks to our explosive growth. We are keen to bring in partners who will catalyse the next stage for us. On the other hand, we are humbled by the rising popularity and high engagement for our product with 90% annual renewal rates from the students. We are constantly innovating the way in which we make learning accessible, effective, engaging and personalized,” said Raveendran.
Byju’s funding round in March was touted to be the largest in Indian education start-ups. In 2015, about $74.7 million was invested in online education start-ups across 47 deals. In 2014, 32 deals worth $28 million were struck.