Byju’s – The most successful EdTech business was established by Byju Raveendran in 2011. With his ambitious dreams, he transformed an online learning platform into a billion-dollar company. He is a former teacher who turned into an entrepreneur.
The company has provided an e-learning platform that focuses on the K12 student segment. Byju Raveendran has registered a company called Think & Learn which is BYJU’s parent company. The Byju’s Learning App was launched in 2015 when it was created and receives over 2 million students in three months.
Byju Raveendran Early Life
Byju Raveendran was born in 1980 in Azhikode, a coastal village in Kerala. Both of his parents were the teacher in Malayalam medium school. He completed his B.Tech (Mech.) from Government Engineering College in Kannur, Kerala.
Following graduation, he obtained a position as a service engineer in a multinational company. However, teaching was his passion and encouraged him to launch BYJU. He was very good in his studies since his childhood and also secured 100 percentile in CAT Exam. He ended up not joining any IIM or B-Schools.
Byju began his own coaching classes and decided to leave his job. He also started taking workshops and soon become famous with more than 20,000 students attended his workshops.
The Turning Point
In 2011, the former students of Byju, who graduated from IIM’s encouraged him to start his own company. He started his company known as ‘ Think & Learn ‘ in 2011, BYJU’s parent company.
He later launched BYJU’s Learning App in 2015 and quickly became famous. The main aim of BYJU’s is to provide coaching through online video lectures for students of class 1 to class 12 and also for people who prepare for competitive exams like IIT – JEE, NEET, CAT, GRE, and GMAT.
In addition, Byju introduced App for Kindergarten Students known as the Byju Early Learning App.
“The outbreak is clearly increasing the appreciation of online education, this could be a turning point for the industry, ushering in increased usage of this format and changing habits in terms of how kids learn and how teachers teach.
– Byju Raveendran
Byju’s received his first funding from Aarin Capital who invested Rs. 500 million in 2013. In 2016, BYJU received funding from firms such as Sequoia Capital & Sofina ($75 million) in March.
In September 2016, the company received $50 million in funding from the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, making it the first company in Asia to receive funding from Mark Zuckerberg.
The company also received multiple funding from organizations like General Atlantic, Tencent Holdings, Tiger Global Management, DST Global, and many more. They received their recent round of funding of $200 million from BlackRock and T Rowe Price. This made the overall funding received by BYJU about $2.2 Billion so far.
The growth of EdTech Startup has seen tremendous growth, with a renewal rate of over 85% for an annual subscription to the App.
BYJU’s Acquisition Over the Years
Byju’s has acquired seven companies in over 5 years. In Jan 2017, They acquired Vidyartha, a learning platform for K8-K12 students in ₹500 million. Then several other companies like Tutorvista and Edurite in 2017, Math Adventures in 2018.
In 2019, they acquired Osmo, an educational platform that offers courses by using games, videos, and other materials. In 2020, BYJU acquired the famous company WhiteHat Jr for $ 300 million that offers online coding classes to school-going students.
In the recent acquisition in Jan 2021, they acquired the famous coaching company, Aakash in the whooping deal of $ 1 Billion who helps aspirants in engineering and medicine to get admission to prestigious colleges by entrance examinations.
It is not a business which I started as a Business. It’s a passion which ended up becoming a Business
– Byju Raveendran
The company generated revenue of over ₹250 Cr. in FY 2016-17 and then it increased to ₹490 Cr. in FY 2017-18. In the FY 2018-19 company saw a massive increase of ₹1,430 Cr. which is over 200 percent. The recent revenue is also double of ₹2800 Cr. in FY 2019-20. Read more
BYJU faced Controversies
After Byju’s acquired WhiteHat Jr. in 2020, they start campaigning aggressively and invested over ₹15 Crores and also got successful results.
They got more than 400 million subscribers globally, of which 1 million are paid, subscribers.’
In October, a rival coding platform for children Tekie even accused a WhiteHat Jr of impersonating a six-year-old to understand and replicate his teaching model. Read more
Pradeep Poonia, an ex-product manager at ed-tech firm NextEducation, has accused WhiteHat Jr. Company of “Spreading false advertising to sell what was already there for free on the internet,” he said November 22.
In addition to his courses, Poonia also accused WhiteHat Jr of having a toxic work culture.
Byju’s Company Stats
- Valuation – $12 Billion
- Free Users – 40 million
- Paid Users – 3 million
- Revenue – ₹2,800 Cr revenue (FY20)
- Total Funding Received – $2.2 Billion
- Byju won many awards including Forbes Entrepreneur of the Year 2020-21, EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2021, Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India, and many more.
- In 2017, Byju’s- The Learning App was included by the “Harvard University” as one of its case studies.
- The company also tied up with Disney to launch an early learning app for classes 1-3.
- They also Featured in the TIME 100 most Influential companies in 2021.
Byju’s success over the years inspire many startups to fulfill their dreams and can become as successful by adopting new technologies. The EdTech industry will have potential growth in upcoming years.