Byju’s, which has been called India’s first edutech unicorn, continues its fundraising spree with a $150 million investment led by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, which will help the company with its efforts to expand globally.
The money brings total private investment in eight-year-old Byju to $924 million, after earlier investments from high-profile firms including Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Sequoia Capital, International Finance Corp., Tencent Holdings and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. Byju’s, according to TechCrunch, wants to enter the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand and in January bought Palo Alto, Calif.-based Osmo.
Education investor Owl Ventures also participated in the round, which Byju’s said will help it create “programs for students in smaller cities, regions and newer markets.” Byju’s reached profitability in May.
- Investments in the Indian edtech sector hit $742 million in 2018, a nearly nine-fold increase from 2017’s $89 million total. The last few months have continued that trend, with CollegeDekho raising $8 million in May and Unacademy landing $50 million two weeks ago.
- Of India’s population of 1.3 billion, around 617 million are school-aged children and young adults, according to UNESCO.
- The edutech sector has surged in India thanks to growing access to educational programs on smartphones and the Internet, which supplement crowded and underfunded brick-and-mortar schools. Education in India lags much of the world according to the Legatum Prosperity Index.
- Karma’s Takeaway: India’s burgeoning edutech market is being fueled by its rapidly growing youth population and remaining investor appetite, but the space is getting crowded.