This Indian Tech 'Unicorn' Saw Massive Growth Thanks To COVID-19 Lockdown

Karamchand Rameshwar - May 19, 2020


This Indian Tech 'Unicorn' Saw Massive Growth Thanks To COVID-19 Lockdown

In the last three months, there have been more than 6 million new users have joined Byju’s platform.

The Byju’s educational app is one of India's rare unicorns that continues to witness a rise in revenues even though India is currently struggling with the Covid-19 outbreak. It can be said that this startup has to thank the pandemic for helping them increase its user base.

In 2019, with a net worth of $ 1.7 billion, founder Byju Raveendran was one of the youngest billionaires in India, according to Forbes. The 37-year-old businessman owns 21% of the company and at the moment, when Byju’s is about to reach a valuation of $ 10 billion, his net worth has increased significantly.

Founder Byju Raveendran
founder Byju Raveendran

Investors are having a very high hope on Byju’s, as the company continues to grow rapidly by providing free content to students. During the lockdown, Byju’s number of users has tripled, welcoming 6 million new students to the platform just in March.

Byju’s app and website also saw a traffic increase of 150% this month. It is currently the third most valuable tech unicorn in India with more than 50 million users. In its latest round of funding, Byju’s successfully raised $ 200 million from New York-based Tiger Global Management, raising the company's valuation to $ 8.2 billion.

Thus, it can be said Byju's is ready to join the "decacorn" club - startups are valued at 10 billion USD or more. Currently, there are only two companies in this group, Oyo and Paytm.

If the new funding rounds are approved, Byju’s valuation could increase by 20% and thus become India’s 2nd-most valuable startup, after Paytm.

Byju Oyo Paytm
Byju's, OYO, and Paytm are India's three most valuable startups at the moment.

Byju’s is in the process of negotiating to raise an additional $ 400 million in investment. To date, the company has successfully raised $ 1.3 billion from multiple investors, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Although some people expressed doubts that the startup could not retain the number of users when the lockdown ended, Raveendran was still optimistic. He said that the company could still develop stably.

In an interview with India Today, Raveendran said: “Since we have good fundamentals we will continue to attract investors not just from China but from all over the world. Last year, close to $11 billion flowed into Indian start-ups. Maybe 6-12 months down the line you will see investors come in. The Indian ecosystem is maturing fast”.

Byju 20180604 571 855
A Byju's office.

Nearly 10 years ago, Raveendran decided to give up teaching jobs to create an education company. His ambition is to become the founder of the world’s largest company in education.

At that time, in India, almost no learning apps were available until Byju’s started operating. Today, it has become the leader of the online education market.

Within three years, the company has tripled and made a profit. It is also one of the few startups in India with a profit of $ 20 million in fiscal 2019.

At the moment, as India is adjusting to the new ‘normal state’ of online education, Raveendran believes that the company will grow even more in the future.

>>> Bengaluru Startup Makes Face Shields Using 3D-Printing Tech

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