The name and mind behind the world’s most valuable edtech startup- Byju Raveendran
Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath and family feature at 47th spot in the Forbes India’s Richest List 2021 with a net worth of US$ 4.05billion.
Byju’s, the eponymous tutorial app that is now a household name, was cofounded by Byju Raveendran with his wife Divya Gokulnath in 2011.
Byju Raveendran, the founder of the edtech giant, was born in 1981 in a village in Kerala. Raveendran has a B.Tech (mechanical engineering) working as a service engineer in a multinational shipping firm. An accidental entrepreneur (Byju calls himself) started the edtech journey while helping a friend to prepare for the CAT exam. Raveendran offered test-prep services before launching - Think & Learn with his wife Divya in 2011 and the Byjus tutoring app.
It’s since become the world’s most valuable edtech company attracting marquee investors like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, China’s Tencent and U.S. private equity firm General Atlantic. The company's last funding round in October 2021 valued it at nearly US$ 21 billion and total funding amounting to US$ 2.9 billion. According to Raveendran, Byju’s revenue has grown at a CAGR of 100% in the last five years. The latest reported revenue for FY2019-20 stood at Rs 2434 crore with a net profit of Rs 51 crore.
2021 marked the acquisition spree of the edtech unicorn, spending nearly US$ 2.6 billion on acquiring companies in India and globally. Aakash Educational service (US$ 1 billion), Great Learning ( US$ 600 million), Tynker and Grade Up to name a few of the 9 acquisitions done in 2021. These acquisitions are seen by the co-founders as partnerships that are focused to increase value for learners across age groups and areas of interest.
The lightning-fast speed with which this startup has grown in a decade is defined by the passion and the vision of its co-founders Byju Raveendran and Divya Gukulnath. They are the pioneers of edtech in India and the world, changing the entire landscape of learning.
“Learning how to learn is the new marker of literacy, not knowing how to read and write,” Byju Raveendran
The edtech unicorn is also eyeing an IPO in 2022 targeting a valuation at over US$ 48 billion, which is more than double of the last round of valuation.
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