India’s newest billionaire is a former classroom teacher who developed an education app that’s grown to a valuation of almost $6 billion in about seven years.
Byju Raveendran joined the rarefied club after his Think & Learn Pvt scored $150 million in funding earlier this month.
Byju Raveendran, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Byju’s, joined the rarefied club after his Think & Learn Pvt scored $150 million in funding earlier this month.
That deal conferred a value of $5.7 billion on the company in which the founder owns more than 21 per cent, sources said.
The 37-year-old entrepreneur — who has said he wants to do for Indian education what the Mouse House did for entertainment — is taking his biggest step yet geographically and creatively.
The Byju’s app founder grew up in a village in India’s southern coast where his parents were school-teachers.
He became an engineer and then began helping friends crack entry exams to top Indian engineering and management schools.
He set up Think & Learn in 2011, offering online lessons before launching his main app in 2015.
The business has signed up more than 35 million of whom about 2.4 million pay an annual fee of Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000, helping it became profitable in the year ending March 2019.
That was when Raveendran began courting long-term investors such as pension funds and sovereign wealth funds — his latest backer is the Qatar Investment Authority.
In Byju’s latest funding round, the entrepreneur bought shares to maintain his equity level.
The 37-year-old entrepreneur is taking his biggest step yet geographically and creatively.
In his new app, Disney characters, from The Lion King’s Simba to Frozen’s Anna, will teach math and English to students from grades one through three.
The same characters star in animated videos, games, stories and interactive quizzes.