India’s Mobile Learning App Byju’s Reaps New Venture Capital, and CZI Makes Partial Exit

Associate Editor

Byju’s, the India-based mobile learning app that has lofty ambitions for growth and entering the U.S. education market, has raised $200 million from Tiger Global Management LLC, a New York-based investment firm, according to the Economic Times and other business outlets.

Some news sources put the total funds raised at $300 million, including contributions by other investors, reportedly raising Byju’s total valuation to a stratospheric $8 billion—up from $5.5 billion less than a year ago.

Byju’s is owned by Think and Learn Private Ltd. The new investor, Tiger Global Management, is a firm that distributes capital in markets around the world.

At the same time, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, LLC, founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, took the opportunity to sell off some of its investment in the company that it initially backed about four years ago.

“We are excited about the long-term potential of Byju’s and are optimistic about its future impact and performance,” said Vivian Wu, managing partner for ventures at CZI, in an emailed response to EdWeek Market Brief about the decision.

“Byju’s strong performance to date has led to strong demand by new investors and naturally created the opportunity to realize some gains on a small part of our investment, which will be reinvested in new philanthropic ventures,” she said.

Other investors that have made partial sales of their stakes in Byju’s include Sequoia Capital, Times Internet, and SCHF PV Mautiritus, according to Deal Street Asia. The publication reported that these “partial exit” shares were picked up by current Byju’s investors General Atlantic, Naspers Ventures and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

In a statement about the Tiger Global Management investment, Byju’s founder Byju Raveendran and CEO did not specify how the new funds would be used.

Scott Shleifer, a partner at Tiger Global Management, said in the statement that Byju’s “pioneering technology [is] shaping the future of learning for millions of school students in India.”

Last year, when Byju’s raised $540 million in new capital in a funding round led by Naspers, it said the infusion of money would support its international expansion—including its first-ever attempt to bring its ed tech to the United States and Britain. It also said it wanted to enhance its platform.

EdWeek Market Brief recently looked at how Byju’s plans might affect the U.S. ed-tech market, and the likelihood that the app would be used in K-12 schools.

The company’s founder, Byju Raveendran, has been bold about its goals, saying he wants to make Byju’s the “world’s largest education company.”

One year ago, Byju’s acquired U.S-based Osmo, a digital games provider that seeks to promote hands-on learning in a strategy Raveendran said would improve its ability to serve younger students, ages 3-8. Osmo was founded by former engineers from Google.

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