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BYJU’s – The Untold Story: Today the technology is highly developing in each and every sector in the world and as well as in India. Do we ever imagine ourselves learning various courses and completing education through online without even struggling for attending colleges and institutes? Yes, this happened when BYJU’s introduced in India.  Byju’s has come up with a great platform for students aspiring for conceptual education with easy learning methodologies. We at Startup unfold brings you a story of this successful company in India.

BYJU’s got its name from the first name of the founder and its tagline is “Fall in love with learning”

BYJU’s – Company Highlights

Startup Name  BYJU’s
Headquarters Bangalore, Karnataka
Founders Byju Raveendran
Sector EdTech
Founded 2011
Parent Organization Think and Learn Private Limited

About Byju’s:

BYJU’s is a learning application (Official Link) based on the Indian educational technology which provides online tutorials for the users. By March 2019, the company was valued at $5.4billion approximately. Shah Rukh Khan is the brand ambassador for BYJU’s. Further, it also won sponsorship rights for Indian cricket team jersey replacing the previous sponsor Oppo.

Founders of BYJU’s:

byju's founder

Byju Raveendran started BYJU’s learning application in 2011. This learning app was started under the common brand name “Think and Learn Private Limited”. 

BYJU’s – How it was started: 

Byju Raveendran was born in 1980 in Azhihole, Kerala. He completed his education in Mechanical engineering from a government school in Kerala. Since his childhood, he was interested in sports. Though his parents were teachers, they always encouraged him in every field of his choice. He used to play football, table tennis, badminton, and cricket.

Though he was interested in sports, he never wanted to choose his career in sports. He decided to choose between medicine and engineering. As he will not get time to play sports if he takes medicine, he chooses to engineer and becomes an engineer.

After completing his studies, he was working as an engineer in one of the UK based shipping firms “Pan Ocean Shipping Limited” in Bangalore where he used to stay with his friends who were studying for the CAT entrance exam. Right from his childhood, he was a bright student and good at mathematics. So, his friends started taking guidance from him and Byju also gave an attempt for CAT for fun and he was very surprised with his results as he achieved 100 percentile in the exam. He thought that the marks were by mistake and he again gave an attempt and achieved 100 percentile again. His friends also cleared with good marks.

His friends started advising him to take classes for competitive exams. Initially, he agreed and started classes at his friend’s house. From here, his entrepreneur journey has begun. He started with mathematics classes and used to teach with tips and tricks for easy solving of the problems. Eventually, he left his job and started taking more subjects. He used to take free classes for students for the first one week and then charges the fee only if they liked his teaching and interested to continue with him.

Gradually, the number of students got increased and he moved his coaching sessions from his friend’s house to a classroom and then to an auditorium. His popularity grew day by day and there was a time when he was talking classes for around 20,000 students across different states such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, and Pune. So, then he got an idea of recording classes and made available for students across various cities.

In 2010, a few students, who graduated from IIM’s met Byju and proposed an idea of moving his classed to online so that millions of students can take the classes. Then they started the company, Think & Learn which primarily aimed at providing educational content for the students.

In 2011, they created a mobile application and a website that would help everyone to access to the educational content. They named the application as BYJU’s- Learning App.

Byju’s Challenges: 

As the users can download the application for free and use it for 15 days after which the students can subscribe to more advanced levels. The challenge here is to convert free subscribers to premium subscribers. Further, the company is planning to expand its services internationally and they are currently looking for a suitable partner for the expansion.

Byju’s – Funding and Investors:

BYJU’s has raised a total of $1.4Billion funding over 14 rounds. The last funding was raised in February 2020 from a private equity round.

Investors Date Series Amount
General Atlantic February 7th,2020 Private equity round $200 Million
Tiger Global Management January 9th,2020 Private equity round $200 Million
Qatar Investment Authority July 10th, 2019 Private equity round $150 Million
General Atlantic, Tencent Holdings March 22nd,2019 Private equity round $31 Million
General Atlantic March 11th,2019 Private equity round $332 Million
Prosus and Naspers Dec 11th, 2018 Venture round $540 Million
Tencent Holdings August 28th,2017 Corporate round $40 Million
Verlinvest March 29th, 2017 Series F $30 Million
December 20th, 2016 Series E $15 Million
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Sequoia Capital India September 9th, 2016 Series D $50 Million

BYJU’s – Business Model & Revenue Model:

Byju’s is a freemium business model where the users are given a few hours of free classes and to continue further, they have to go for the paid subscription. This is how they operate by providing their customers with complementary and premium services. It also provides one to one mentoring to the subscribers and provides feedback to the parents. It also offers classroom coaching in the city of Noida, Gurgaon, and surrounding places.

The company earns its revenue in the below 3 ways:

  1. The company earns revenue from the subscriptions when the users after the free trial purchase to continue their educational courses. The application also offers various test series, courses, etc.
  2. It offers Byju products (tablets) that customers have to buy with their choice of course. The tablet contains videos, tests, practice questions, etc. inbuilt for the course that the users opted for.
  3. The last one is through classroom coaching which is now available only in a few places in India.

More Startup Stories: Startup Unfold

BYJU’s – Recognition:

Byju’s has entered into unicorn club (startups valued at more $1billion) and became the fourth most valued company in India.

Byju’s was the first Asian Company to receive funding from Chan- Zuckerberg Initiative, a joint venture initiative by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. 

Byju Raveendran was awarded the “Manorama Newsmaker of the year award” in 2019

BYJU’s – Acquisitions & Mergers: 

Till now, the company has made the following acquisitions

  1. Vidyartha (Span Thought works Private Limited) acquired in January 2017. Vidyartha is a Bangalore based customized learning guidance platform. 
  2. TutorVista acquired by Byju’s in July 2017. TutorVista is also engaged in providing online education for students.
  3. Math Adventures and Edurite acquired by Byju’s in July 2018. Math master program provides learning in math in a fun manner which improves the understanding of the students.
  4. Osmo acquired by Byju’s in January 2019. Osmo based on the united states which provide interactive platforms between physical and digital.

BYJU’s – Growth:

The growth of the company was tremendously increasing year on year from its inception and has achieved huge success in the Educational technology market in India. So far, the company entered into Indian and Middle East parts of the world and further planning to enter into US market after it acquired US-based company Osmo in January 2019. 

Byju’s also tied up with Disney to bring out learnings for classes 1 to 3. 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak throughout the world, Byju’s has come up with the good news for students by providing free learnings till April’2020 so that students can have uninterrupted learning.

BYJU’s – Competitors:

As technology is growing at a faster pace and most of the people are moving towards digitalization and adapting to e-learning, there are many other companies that came up with a similar concept. The major competitors include Teachable, Khan academy, Simplilearn, Schoolwise and

BYJU’s – Revenue and Valuation: 

In the last financial year ending march’2019, the largest Indian Educational technology company Byju’s reported revenue of 1430 crores without disclosing the profit number. In the Financial year 2018, it reported a net loss of Rs29 crores on a revenue of Rs 490 crores. The company claims that the revenue in 2019 has tripled when compared to 2018 as the paid users increased from 1.26million in 2018 to 2.4million users in 2019.

BYJU’s – Future Plans: 

Byju’s plans to introduce learnings in regional languages in the near future moving beyond Hindi and English. Byju’s Raveendran said that they have witnessed significant growth in the number of students and more than 60 % are outside the top 10 cities in India. Further Byju’s also plans to expand its services in new regions like the United States, UK, Australia. 

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