The World Bank's private-sector investment arm - International Finance Corporation (IFC) has invested $ 15 million in the Bangalore based Ed-tech startup Byju's. This investment will enable Byju's to further their plans and expand to international markets. In July that Byju's was close to raising between USD25 million and USD50 million for international expansion and had named IFC as one of four potential investors. IFC had also made a disclosure on its website at the time that it planned to invest USD15 million in Byju's.
The latest development marks the closing of this transaction. The round comes three months after the company raised USD50 million in a round co-led by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic foundation of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan and Sequoia Capital. Byju Raveendran, founder and chief executive of Byju's, said the fundraise was more of a strategic one to partner with IFC, which has a strong focus on the education sector globally.
Raveendran said that the fresh capital will mainly go into our ongoing product development activities for new markets. In addition, we will also spend significantly on branding and to add channel partners to reach out to more small cities in India as almost 70% of our users come from outside the top 10 cities.
In March, Byju's had raised $75 million (about Rs 500 crore) from Sequoia and Sofina. Byju's, incorporated as Think & Learn Pvt. Ltd, is India's largest K-12 learning app and offers programmes for students in classes 4 to 12 and competitive exams such as JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, GRE and GMAT. It provides students personalised instruction, feedback and assessment using pedagogical methods, data science and machine learning.
The company claims that its app has been downloaded 7 million times and reached 330,000 annual subscribers across India. Byju's is building a new tech-enabled educational product targeting school students in English-speaking countries such as the US, the UK and commonwealth countries such as Australia and South Africa. Byju's claims to be profitable in the domestic market.