Qatar Investment Authority close to investing $200-250m in edtech firm Byju’s

Byju’s founder Byju Raveendran. Photo: Mint

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of the state of Qatar, is close to pumping in $200-250 million for about a 5 per cent stake in Indian edtech unicorn Byju’s.

According to a Business Standard report on Monday, the term-sheet has been signed between the two parties on the deal, which will mark QIA’s first investment in an Indian startup. However, it was not clear in the report if any of the existing investors would exit in the process.

The development comes at a time when Byju’s is looking to bolster its international expansion. The company has plans to make its learning app available in the US, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia by the July-September quarter.

In January, the company had also acquired US-based playful learning system Osmo for $120 million. According to a December TechCrunch report, overseas operations comprise 15 per cent of Byju’s revenue.

Founded in 2008, Byju’s has raised $819.8 million in funding till date.

In March, Byju’s had raised $31 million (Rs 215 crore) in fresh funding from existing investors General Atlantic and Tencent Holdings, according to the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) sourced by paper.vc. The same month, General Atlantic had also injected Rs 33.28 crore (about $4.75 million) in the Indian company.

In December last year, Byju’s had raised $540 million as part of a funding round led by Naspers Ltd, with participation from the likes of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and General Atlantic. The round had valued the Bengaluru-based firm at around $3.6 billion. At that time, Sequoia Capital was reported to have sold its 7 per cent stake in Byju’s for $185-190 million. It, however, continues to hold 13-15 per cent stake in the ed-tech firm, per media reports.

Other investors in the Indian company include Verlinvest, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Aarin Capital among others.

Operated by Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, Byju’s started out as an offline teaching centre in Bengaluru. It launched an app in 2015 to increase its user base. It currently offers two separate learning apps — its flagship app caters to students from Classes VI to XII, while the second targets students of Classes IV and V.

As of March 2019, it had 30 million free users and 2 million paid users.

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.