Indian ed tech 'decacorn' Byju’s has raised $500 million in an ongoing Series F from US buyout house Silver Lake, as it continues to benefit from the online learning boom. 

Byju’s has in recent months received a number of large investments. Just last month, the firm secured $400 million from investment firm DST Global, headed by billionaire Yuri Milner.

Byju’s, which earlier this year became the world’s first ‘decacorn’ as its valuation reached $10.5 billion, simplifies math and science concepts for K12 students through games and videos on an app.

According to CrunchBase, it has to date raised $2.1 billion, of which $622 million was raised this year. 

Since the introduction of global lockdowns in response to Covid-19, Byju’s said it has enrolled more than 20 million new students on its platform for free. Its app has over 64 million registered users in total, 4.2 million of whom are paying subscribers.

The new injection pushed the online education company’s value to $10.8 billion.

The funding round also drew existing investors, including Tiger Global, General Atlantic and Owl Ventures. Naspers, Mark Zuckerberg's Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Qatar Investment Authority, Lightspeed India Partners and Sequoia Capital have also previously invested in the business.

Founder and chief executive Byju Raveendran said in a statement that the company was “fortunate to be in a sector of positive relevance during this crisis”, which has brought “online learning to the forefront”.

“Our classrooms are changing possibly for the first time in 100 years and I'm really excited about the opportunities that we have to redefine the future of learning,” he said.

Byju’s has also been active on the acquisition front throughout the pandemic. Last month it bought WhiteHat Jr in an all-cash deal worth $300 million. This marked its fifth acquisition to date.

Earlier this week, WhiteHat Jr came under fire by customers who said its sales strategy was “too aggressive” and “intolerable”.

Date published: 11 September 2020

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