“How do you build something generational? The person who has that vision should have the control,” said Byju Raveendran, the billionaire co-founder of the world’s largest edtech company, Byju’s.
Alongside his co-founder and wife Divya Gokulnath, Raveendran was addressing a room full of edtech founders, venture capitalists, and researchers at an industry conference in San Diego in early April. He was asked about his recent US$400 million investment investment Bloomberg Byju’s Founder in $800 Million Funding Round With BlackRock Read more back into his eponymous company, which gives him and his family a 25% stake.
“When we thought about where to invest, it didn’t even take us 10 seconds to decide,” said Gokulnath. The duo received a standing ovation at the end of the session.
It’s clear that there’s mutual love ripening between the US$22 billion-valued Indian company and the American edtech market. For American VCs, Byju’s is on track to double its valuation with an imminent imminent Financial Times Indian online education start-up Byju’s in talks for record Spac deal Read more SPAC SPAC Special purpose acquisition company Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have become a preferred way for many experienced management teams and sponsors to take companies public. A SPAC raises capital through an initial public offering (IPO) for the purpose of acquiring an existing operating company. listing in the United States—some, at the conference, believe it could even breach the trillion-dollar mark in the future. For Byju’s, breaking into the US market means it can charge more for its house of brands and break free of the financial glass ceiling in poorer markets like India.
If its three high-profile edtech acquisitions in the US—Tynker, EPIC, and OSMO for a total of US$820 million—weren’t indication enough, Raveendran strongly hinted that a major brand tie-up was in the works, targeted specifically at the American audience. Current speculations range from a Super Bowl sponsorship to roping in Oscar winner Will Smith.
Raveendran may have lofty ambitions lofty ambitions The Ken The US$11-billion Byju’s juggernaut heads to US shores Read more , but a major cog in the company’s international expansion plans is faltering. The Ken has learnt that WhiteHat Jr, the four-year-old coding-for-kids startup that Byju’s acquired acquired The Ken Decoding Byju’s $300-million acquisition of WhiteHat Jr Read more in 2020 for a cool US$300 million, is close to shutting down its mathematics division, launched just in January 2021.