With a valuation approaching $8.2 billion after funding, Byju’s is perhaps the world’s most valuable education startup.
Indian online education provider Byju’s has made an offer to acquire 2U Inc, for cash in a deal valued at more than $1 billion for the US-listed edtech company.
Byju’s, one of the most valuable businesses in the world, is speeding its global expansion through acquisitions with support from Mark Zuckerberg’s Initiative and Tiger Global Management.
Although 2U has a market value of $717 million, it is currently saddled with over $1 billion in debt and other liabilities. Since reaching a top of $55.55 in early 2021, shares of 2U have decreased by more than 80%.
Payments for a $1 billion acquisition of the test preparation business Aakash Educational Services made by Byju’s last year are being postponed. Byju has requested a postponement of the payments until late August because regulators have not yet approved the acquisition. They added that there was no cash crunch involved.
Founded in 2011, Byju’s provides K12 students with highly personalized and effective learning plans. Byju’s has 42 million students registered and 3 million users have paid subscription contracts.
Byju’s is the most valuable startup in India with a $22 billion valuation. The edtech pioneer’s online learning platform, originally known as Think & Learn Pvt, is used by 115 million students, 7 million of whom pay annual membership fees. Additionally, Naspers Ltd., Silver Lake Management, and Mary Meeker’s Bond Capital are its backers.
Indian online education company Byju’s, valued at $3 trillion
The valuation of Indian online education company Byjus jumped to $22 billion after a new round of funding in March. During the two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, investors poured a ton of money into growing Byjus as homebound students and parents flocked to the company’s services.
But the Bangalore-based company is now gearing up for a post-Corona day. Schools are reopening to in-person jobs, and inflation-driven price hikes are pushing parents to cut back on extra spending.
Byjus growth in past few years
Byjus, which has raised $2 billion from prominent investors such as Blackstone, UBS, and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ during the pandemic, has stepped up its investments in other edtech companies and has expanded the K12 period from kindergarten to high school.
Most recently, Byjus subsidiary Great Learning acquired Singapore’s Northwest Executive Education in May for an estimated $100 million. The company also invested $100 million in Austrian math-learning app GeoGebra last December.
In addition to adding programming, job skills, and lifelong education to its ever-expanding portfolio, Byjus has also increased its presence in the United States, will serve as the official sponsor of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar this November, and will expand into the Middle East. In addition, it is considering an IPO in India or the United States next year.
Byju’s parent company, Think & Learn, posted consolidated revenue of INR 24 billion (approximately USD 325 million) for the fiscal year ended March 2020, up 82% year-on-year, but its net loss widened to INR 2.6 billion. Analysts attributed the loss to business development and marketing costs.
India’s edtech market is expected to grow tenfold over the next decade, reaching $30 billion by 2032. This is just a fraction of a global market currently worth $106 billion and projected to grow at a CAGR of 16.5% over the next decade.
What’s more, with inflation rising, parents are taking a more cautious look at the cost of tuition, and Indian edtech start-ups such as Vedantu and Unacademy have already laid off and the industry is undergoing change.
However, Byju is shifting its focus to a hybrid model as the “next stage.” Since February, the company has opened 100 “Byjus Learning Centers” nationwide that combine face-to-face and online courses, and plans to open another 400 by the end of the year. The goal is to enroll 1 million students, hire 10,000 teachers and collect $50 a month per student, Gokurunath said.
Employment benefits at Byju
Within the company, Gokulunath has spearheaded the implementation of women-friendly policies, including menstrual leave, six months of paid maternity leave, and a mentorship program with senior executives. She also helps poor students through partnerships with NGOs, and had planned to reach 5 million students by 2025, but she received an immediate response and she pushed that goal to 10 million.
“Business always has headwinds.” No one can stop us from remaining committed to our goal and leaving a lasting impression on future generations, she asserts. With the right vision and a strong team, and an innovative product, we can overcome any change.