Byju’s has raised $250 million in new funding and is on the verge of securing an additional $700 million, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch, as the Indian edtech giant builds up capital ahead of the much-anticipated IPO of its subsidiary Aakash.
New York-based investment firm Davidson Kempner has invested $250 million in Byju’s through a structured vehicle, the people said. The person requested anonymity because the information is not public.
The Bengaluru-based startup, India’s most valuable company, is finalizing remaining funding from a sovereign fund, the people said. The money, which is expected to arrive within two weeks, will go to the startup as part of a convertible note that is valued at a capped $22 billion.
Byju’s has maintained a valuation of $22 billion over the past year, even as valuations for many of the world’s most prominent startups have seen significant corrections.
Davidson Kempner declined to comment, while Byju’s did not immediately respond. TechCrunch could not identify the sovereign fund.Indian news outlet Moneycontrol earlier Report About Byju’s new financing plan.
Byju’s massive fundraising comes at a time when India’s startup ecosystem is under a funding crunch due to a weakening global economy.
Byju’s is in advanced discussions with bankers including Citigroup and Goldman Sachs about an IPO for Aakash, the brick-and-mortar tutoring chain it acquired two years ago for nearly $1 billion, TechCrunch reported earlier.
Byju’s has received approval from its board of directors to proceed with the IPO of Aakash and is preparing the filing.
The startup, which prepares students for undergraduate and postgraduate courses, has expanded in recent years to serve all enrolled students and has amassed 150 million users on its learning app, while hundreds of thousands of students visit the company brick-and-mortar store – Mortar Center.
Byju’s, like many other edtech companies, has benefited from the lockdown as more parents explore digital supplements to continue their children’s education. Byju’s backer Prosus Ventures disclosed in a filing last year that the startup had spent more than $2.5 billion in funding over the past two-and-a-half years as the Indian company scaled up and broadened its product offerings in multiple international markets. Acquiring global startups.
In the fiscal year ended March last year, the startup’s total revenue was $1.258 billion (unaudited). The startup had revenue of $570 million between April and July, the company said. Byju’s backers include Prosus Ventures, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Sequoia Capital India, Silver Lake, Owl Ventures, UBS and Blackrock, and has raised over $6 billion to date.