A week after downsizing, India's BYJU's raises $250m at a flat valuation

A week after downsizing, India's BYJU's raises $250m at a flat valuation

Screen grab from BYJU's app.

BYJU’s, on Monday, said it has raised $250 million in a fresh funding round, just a week after the company — India’s most valuable edtech firm — laid off 2,500 employees to rein in costs.

Without disclosing details, BYJU’s said the new round came from some of its existing investors including the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) — the gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund.

While BYJU’s declined to comment on its valuation, a source familiar with the matter told DealStreetAsia that it remained flat, from the previous round, at $22 billion. The source added that QIA was the lead investor in the round.

BYJU’S is backed by the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), General Atlantic, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Verlinvest, IFC, Aarin Capital, TimesInternet, Lightspeed ventures, Tiger Global, Owl Ventures, and QIA.

“BYJU’s is now at that sweet spot of its growth story where the unit economics and the economies of scale both are in its favour. This means the capital that we now invest in our business will result in profitable growth and create sustainable social impact. Regardless of the adverse macroeconomic conditions, 2022-23 is set to be our best year in terms of revenue, growth and profitability. Continued support from our esteemed investors re-affirms the impact created by us so far, and validates our path to profitability,” said Byju Raveendran, Founder & CEO, BYJU’s.

Raveendran’s statements come in sharp contrast to the company’s ballooning losses and expenses, the layoffs announced last week, and the need to cut its marketing budget to improve its finances and achieve profitability by end of March 2023.

While BYJU’s is the most valuable Indian ed-tech firm, it is also the biggest loss-making unicorn in India. In FY21, BYJU’s expenses surged 2.4 times to Rs7,027 crore, while its losses ballooned 14.9 times to Rs4,564 crore.

On Monday, the company also said it is consolidating all its K10 India subsidiaries into one unit to leverage their synergies. Aakash Education and Great Learning, which are respectively into test-prep and upskilling, will continue to operate as stand-alone independent units

“Having already become one of India’s most popular consumer brands, BYJU’S will now be retargeting its marketing budget towards its overseas markets,” the company said in a statement.

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