Indonesian edtech startup Ruangguru said to secure General Atlantic-led financing

Photo: Ruangguru

Indonesian edtech startup Ruangguru is said to be securing fresh funding to the tune of $100 million, according to multiple sources aware of the development.

DealStreetAsia understands the latest round is being led by General Atlantic, and some of the startup’s early investors, including Venturra Capital, are likely to participate in the financing.

In July, we had reported that Ruangguru had secured funding from investors including UOB Venture Management and East Ventures, which brought the company’s valuation to $100 million.

The latest funding is likely to bump up Ruangguru’s valuation to over $500 million.

Ruangguru said it does not comment on rumours, while General Atlantic said it had no comment to offer for this story.

Sources say SoftBank Group Corp was interested in leading this round of funding but may have decided against doing so owing to recent issues with its portfolio companies, notably WeWork.

Ruangguru was set up in 2014 by Adamas Belva Syah Devara and Muhammad Iman Usman, and helps elementary, middle and high-school students in Indonesia find private tutors online. It also offers its own learning management system as well as learning video subscriptions, and online exam simulations, catering to almost every K-12 education vertical.

It also has plans to expand outside of Indonesia, which the fundraising will likely support.

General Atlantic is also an early investor in Indian edtech unicorn Byju’s, which has plans to expand to other markets with high demand for English tuition services. The Indian unicorn produces and runs learning apps for school students, and is considered the best-funded and highest valued edtech startup in the country.

In March this year, Byju’s had raised $31 million from General Atlantic and Tencent Holdings, another existing investor. After the last round of funding, estimates put the company’s valuation at over $5 billion.

The education sector in South and Southeast Asia is increasingly becoming one of the most attractive sectors for investors across the private equity industry.

In October, Blackstone Group announced an investment in India’s Aakash Educational Services. According to media reports, the PE major picked up around 37.5 per cent stake in Aakash at a valuation of over $500 million.

In Vietnam, Kaizen Private Equity invested $10 million in YOLA, an English and test prep organisation backed by local firm Mekong Capital, this year. Other recent education investments in the Southeast Asian country include TAEL Partners’s investment in IvyPrep, Northstar Group’s $50-million funding for Topica Edtech and Navis Capital’s investment in Thanh Thanh Cong Education.

DealStreetAsia will update this story as more details become available.

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.

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.