Byju's

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Byju
TypePrivate
Industry
Founded2011; 10 years ago (2011)[1]
Founders
Headquarters,
India
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
ProductsBYJU’S - The Learning App
RevenueIncrease 2,800 crore (US$370 million) (FY 2020)[3]
Subsidiaries
  • Osmo
  • TutorVista (Rebranded as iRobot Tutor TV STEM)
  • HashLearn
  • WhiteHat Jr
  • LabInApp
  • Scholr
  • Aakash Institute
  • Toppr
  • Whodat
  • tynker
  • Epic!
  • Great Learning
  • Gradeup (Rebranded as BYJU'S Exam Prep)
Websitewww.byjus.com

Byju's is an Indian multinational educational technology company, headquartered in Bangalore. It was founded in 2011 by Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath. As of November 2021, Byju's is valued at US$21 billion,[4] making it the world's most valuable educational technology company.

History[edit]

Byju's CEO Byju Raveendran

Byju's' app was developed by Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, established by Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath in 2011.[5][1][6] Byju, an engineer, started coaching students in mathematics in 2006.[5] In 2011, he and his wife founded a company offering online video-based learning programs for the K-12 segment and for competitive exams.[7][8] In 2012, the firm entered both Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India and Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific ratings and has been present there ever since.[1][9]

In August 2015, the firm launched Byju's: The Learning App.[10][7][11] In 2017, they launched Byju's Math App for kids and Byju's Parent Connect app e.[12][13] By 2018, it had 1.5 crores (15 million) users and 900,000 paid users.[14][15] In July 2019, Byju's won the sponsorship rights for the Indian cricket team jersey, replacing its former sponsor Oppo.[16]

Byju's subsidiary WhiteHat Jr. was asked to remove their five TV advertisements by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) due to misleading advertisements.[17] WhiteHat Jr. had created a fictional character named "Wolf Gupta" for its social media advertisements, without disclaiming that he was just a character. They often claimed his age to be between 6 to 14 years who got job offers worth crores in multiple posters.[18]

Byju's raised US$50 million in a Series F round from IIFL's private equity fund and Maitri Edtech.[19]

Subsidiaries[edit]

TutorVista[edit]

TutorVista Global Pvt. Ltd
TypePrivate
IndustryInternet, e-learning, Education, Tutoring
FoundedNovember 2005
FounderKrishnan Ganesh and Meena Ganesh
Headquarters
Bangalore, Karnataka
,
ProductsOnline tutoring Homework help
ParentBYJU'S

TutorVista Global Private Limited (acquired by BYJU'S) was an educational organisation that specialized in online tutoring in the US. It relied on a combination of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony, session recording, instant messaging, file sharing and an interactive whiteboard.[20] The company mainly provided academic help by paid subscription to students in subjects such as English, Mathematics, Statistics and Science.[21]

The firm's operations were entirely located in India, but most of its market was abroad.[22] It's platform connected students with about 2,000 teachers in India, United States, UK, Australia, China, Middle East and South East Asia.[23]

TutorVista was founded in 2005 by Krishnan Ganesh and Meena Ganesh.[24][25] In 2006, Sequoia Capital India and Light speed Venture Partners invested more than $10 million in TutorVista.[26]

The company expanded with the acquisition of Edurite, an educational firm in 2007,[27] and a partnership with American Book Company in 2009.[28] In 2011, Pearson increased its stake to a 76-percent majority stake in TutorVista for $127 million[29] and purchased the remaining 20-percent stake in 2013. At this point, Krishnan Ganesh and Meena Ganesh stepped down from l management roles, and Srikanth Iyer was appointed the new CEO.[30]

The Economist suggested that building trust for an unknown Indian brand was the biggest difficulty faced by the company.[31] There have also been several protests in the United States against organizations that do not allow face-to-face and personalized tutoring. Officials and parents from both local and national bodies have mixed reactions regarding the ethical and practical implications of this trend.[32] In the UK, it is estimated that 1 in 4 students is now tutored outside school, with offshore tutoring companies increasingly entering the market.[33]

Products and services[edit]

Byju's is an education tutoring app that runs on a freemium model,[34] with free access to content limited for 15 days after the registration.[34][35] It was launched in August 2015,[36] offering educational content for students from classes 4 to 12 and in 2019 an early learning program has started for classes 1 to 3.[14] It also trains students for examinations in India such as IIT-JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, and international examinations such as GRE and GMAT.[37]

Academic subjects and concepts are explained with 12-20 minute digital animation videos.[38][39][40] Byju's reports to have 4 crore (40 million) users overall, 30 lakh (3 million) annual paid subscribers and an annual retention rate of about 85%.[41][42] In 2019, the company announced that it would launch its app in regional Indian languages.[43][14] It also planned to launch an international version of the app for English-speaking students in other countries.[44][45] Recently, Byju's launched new programs in its Early Learn App for students of kindergarten as well.[46] In April 2021, the company also announced the launch of "BYJU'S Future School" to be led by WhiteHat Jr Founder Karan Bajaj.[47] The Future School aims to cross the bridge from passive to active learning with an interactive learning platform blended with coding and other subjects like Math, Science, English, Music and Fine arts through storytelling. BYJU'S will launch the Future School in the USA, UK, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico in May.[48]

Acquisitions[edit]

In July 2017, Think and Learn acquired TutorVista (including Edurite) from Pearson.[49][50][51] In January 2019, Byju's acquired a US-based Osmo, a maker of educational games for children aged 3–8 years for US$120 million.[52] Byju's also acquired Indian startup WhiteHat Jr for US$300 million.[53] In September 2020, Byju's acquires virtual labs simulation startup LabInApp.[54][55][56] In February 2021, Byju’s acquires Mumbai-based doubt clearing platform Scholr.[57]

In April 2021, Byju's acquired test prep firm Aakash Educational Services Ltd. in an estimated US$950 million cash and stock deal. Aakash's founders and Blackstone Group will receive minority stakes in Byju's as part of the deal.[58][59] In July 2021, Byju's acquired US-based kids learning platform Epic! in a US$500-million cash-and-stock deal. The Epic acquisition was part of Byju's foray into the overseas market, from where it expects annual revenue of US$300 million per financial year.[60] In July 2021, Byju's acquired Singapore based higher education platform Great Learning at a cost of US$600 million and after-school learning app Toppr.[61] In September 2021, Byju's acquired two startups including online test preparation platform Gradeup for an undisclosed price and rebranded it to BYJU’S Exam Prep[62][63] and US based coding platform Tynker for US$200 million.[64][65]

Funding and financials[edit]

Byju's received seed funding from Aarin Capital in 2013.[66] As of 2019, Byju's had secured nearly $785 million in funding from investors, including Sequoia Capital India, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), Tencent, Sofina, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Brussels-based family office Verlinvest, development finance institution IFC, Napsters Ventures, CPPIB and General Atlantic.[15][67][68] Byju's was the first company in Asia to receive an investment from Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (co-funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan).[69][70][71] As per the company filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Byju's became a unicorn and was valued at ₹6,505 crore ($1 billion) as of March 2018.[72][67] In June 2020, Byju's attained the decacorn status with an investment by Mary Meeker's Bond Capital.[73]

In September 2020, Byju's replaced Oppo as the title sponsor of the India national cricket team.[74] Byju's operates roughly on a premium business model where a paid subscription is required for most of the content.[38] In 2017, Byju's generated revenues of about ₹260 crore (US$40 million or €33 million) and doubled it in 2018 financial year, earning ₹520 crore.[75][76][77] In June 2020, with the investment of Bond, a global technology investment firm, Byju's became decacorn at US$10.5 billion valuations.[78] In November 2020, Byju's became the title sponsor of the Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters FC replacing Muthoot Group.[79] In November 2020, Byju’s raised US$200 million in a fresh funding round led by BlackRock and T. Rowe Price at a valuation of $12 billion.[80] In March 2021, Byju's secured $460m in a series F funding round.[81] In April 2021, B Capital, Baron Funds, and XN invested $1 billion in Byju's.[82]

Criticism[edit]

Byju's was criticized for charging fees that only the rich can afford.[83] Former salespeople say the company pushes its products on parents who can’t afford them.[84][85] Byju filed a 20 crore defamation suit against critic Pradeep Poonia.[86][87]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award or recognition Type of award Result/ranking Ref.
2010 CNBC TV18 CRISIL Emerging India Award (Education) Company Won [38]
2012 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Company 321 [88]
2013 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Company 176 [89]
2014 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Company 329 [90]
2015 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Company 167 [91]
2016 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Company 115 [92]
2016 Wharton Reimagine Education Overall Ed Tech Award (Best Educational App) Company Won [93][94]
2016 VCCircle Awards (Education company of the year) Company Won [95][38]
2016 Future of India Awards Company Won [96]
2016 Global Mobile App Summit & Awards (Education) Company Won [97]
2017 Express IT Awards Personal Won [98]
2017 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Company 126 [99]
2017 FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards Company Nominated [100]
2017 CNBC TV18 India Business Leader Awards (Young Turk of the Year) Company Won [101]
2017 Amazon Web Services Mobility Awards (Established Education App of the Year) Company Won
2018 Business Standard Annual Awards for Corporate Excellence Company Won [102]
2018 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Start up) Personal Won [103]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]