Byju Raveendran, son of physics and mathematics teachers from Azhikode village in Kannur district of Kerala, once sat for the Common Aptitude Test (CAT) entrance exam during one of his work breaks in 2003. He did so while teaching some of his friends who were preparing for the exam. Despite hardly studying for the exam, he scored 100%. Just to be sure, he sat for it again. He scored 100% again.
Two years later, he helped some more people crack the entrance exam. Soon, word spread about the positive results of Byju’s teaching. In no time, he was doing this full-time: He went from teaching a few friends, to teaching hundreds of students in large auditoriums, to taking classes through satellite communication. He eventually launched Byju’s – The Learning App in 2015.
In four years, Byju’s went on to become the country’s largest edutech company and has even replaced OPPO as the official sponsor of the Indian men's cricket team.
And with the latest round of $150 million funding from Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) -- the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar -- Byju's has hit $6 billion valuation, making its Founder and CEO Byju Raveendran the newest billionaire in the country.
Raveendran holds more than 21% stake in the Bengaluru-based educational technology and online tutorial firm.
With increased brand awareness and strong adoption among students, Byju's tripled its revenue to Rs 1,430 crore in the financial year 2018-19 and also turned profitable on a full-year basis.
The company declined any response on Raveendran becoming a billionaire, saying "Byju's does not want to comment on this".
The fresh round of funding in Byju's also included the first-ever investment from Owl Ventures in an Indian startup.
"Indian ed-tech firms attracting interest from eminent investors demonstrates that India is pioneering the digital learning space globally," Raveendran had said earlier.
Byju's has already crossed Rs 200 crore in monthly revenue and is estimating revenue of Rs 3,000 crore this year.
Transforming the offline-to-online learning experience, it has also acquired Osmo, a Palo Alto-based education game-making company.
The edtech firm offers learning programmes for students from classes 1 to 12 in India.
In one of its biggest wins, from September onwards, Byju's will be the official sponsor of Team India replacing Chinese mobile-maker OPPO.
The team will sport Byju's logo starting from the home series against South Africa on September 15.
With IANS inputs