Byju Raveendran – one of India’s youngest billionaires may only get richer even during the coronavirus lockdown

IANS
  • Byju Raveendran, 37, is one of the youngest billionaires in India with a net worth of $1.7 billion.
  • Byju’s, which made its content available for free during the coronavirus, saw an immediate 3x increase in the number of users.
  • The edtech startup is in talk to raise as much as $400 million fresh capital.

Byju’s is one of the rare Indian unicorns that will continue to bring in revenue, even during the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, it has the pandemic to thank for a massive boost in numbers.

In 2019, the founder Byju Raveendran became one of India’s youngest billionaires with a net worth of $1.7 billion, according to Forbes. And now, as the startup eyes a $10 billion valuation, 37-year old Raveendran’s net worth is set to see a jump for his 21% stake in the company.

Investors are betting big on Byju’s as the startup continues to see a meteoric rise.

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Byju’s, which offered its content for free to students, during the lockdown period, saw an immediate 3X increase in the number of users. As many as six million new students joined the platform in March alone. Byju’s app and website have witnessed a 150% increase in traffic in March.

I t is the third most valued unicorn in India with over 50 million students using its platform. The latest round of $200 million funding from New York-based Tiger Global Management valued Byju’s at $8.2 billion.

Road to $10 billion
Byju’s is getting ready to enter the decacorn club — a startup with $10 billion or more valuation— which currently houses only Paytm and Oyo. If the fresh rounds of funding comes through, there will be a 20% increase in its current valuation. It will then become the second most valuable startup in the country after Paytm.
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According to TechCrunch, Byju’s is in talks to raise as much as $400 million. It has raised more than $1.3 billion till date from investors including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.



While some may question that Byju’s will not be able to retain its users after lockdown ends, Raveendran is optimistic. He says Byju’s might earn as much revenue as it earned in pre-covid time.
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“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,” Raveendran told India Today in a panel discussion.


The billionaire guru
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It was only a decade back, when Raveendran aced the Common Admission Test (CAT) with 100 percentile and decided to ditch his 2-year old career to open an ed tech. He wanted to become the founder of ‘ largest education company in the world’ — a dream that might become true if things go as is.


There were hardly any learning apps available when Byju’s started its operation and now it rules the online education market.
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Within three years into business, Byju's tripled its revenue to ₹1,430 crore in the financial year 2018-19 and also turned profitable on a full-year basis. It was also one of the handful startups to report a profit of ₹20 crore in FY19. It also cut down its losses by over 76% to ₹8.8 crore from ₹37.1 crore in FY18.


And now, the edtech founder is only greedy for more. As India accepts the ‘new normal’ of online education, Raveendran, believes the growth that has not happened in years is going to happen in months.
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SEE ALSO:
14 Indian edtech startups raised funds amid the COVID-19 pandemic⁠
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