iNDICA NEWS BUREAU’
The Indian edtech startup BYJUs has become the sensational spotlight not just in India but in the US tech industry as well.
BYJU’s founder Byju Raveendran was a speaker at the world’s well-recognized “TechCrunch Disrupt 2020” annual global conference, and during a Q & A session with Techcrunch’s reporter Manish Singh, Raveendran shared his journey, which started as an offline platform and all to becoming a decacorn.
“Unfortunately it took a pandemic for most stakeholders to try out digital learning. Parents are now accepting the online segment more than before. This sector is clearly at an inflection point,” said the 39-year-old Raveendran.
To make online learning more accessible to students, Byju’s made all of its offerings free during the pandemic. But the platform’s paying subscribers, now at more than 4 million, remains on a steady path of growth, he said.
When asked about acquisitions and adding value, Raveendran said, “The long-term potential of the sector is at an all-time high. We are looking for companies that can add strong product components to either our existing userbase or potential new customers in new markets, or companies that can give us some kind of distribution so that we get a head start to launch in a new market — especially English speaking markets.”
“You will hear of a few more acquisitions from us. We are exploring some of them very seriously,” he added. The future acquisitions will again be all-cash deals, Byju said, as he “values equity more than others.”
Byju’s has raised more than $700 million this year. When asked about why, Raveendran said, “We have been very capital efficient in terms of how we have used the primary capital we have raised. In the first five years, we have utilized less than $350 million of the primary capital — which shows how we have efficiently scaled the model,” he said.
“Most of the recent fundraising is to finance inorganic growth like full-cash acquisitions. We are utilizing it to add some strong business models. We never raised money because we needed it. It was always to add the right partner. In recent times, we have added long-term, patient investors,” he said.
Byju’s is likely not done with its fundraising spree yet as the startup is currently engaging with at least two more investment firms.