December 3, 2020

Silver Lake in $500 million round, Byju’s valued $10.8 billion


BENGALURU: Technology-focused US private equity firm Silver Lake has led a fresh $500 million funding round in Byju’s, valuing the education technology company at about $10.8 billion, a person in the know of the matter said.

The Bengaluru-based company, which announced the new investment on Tuesday, said existing investors Tiger Global, General Atlantic and Owl Ventures also participated in the investment, without disclosing the terms of the deal.

ET could not immediately ascertain whether the Silver Lake-led round included a secondary sale of shares by existing investors.

“We are excited to welcome a strong partner like Silver Lake to the Byju’s family,” said Byju Raveendran, its founder and CEO. “We are fortunate to be in a sector of positive relevance during this crisis.”

Silver Lake’s investment comes just weeks after tech billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Global ploughed $122 million into the company, according to regulatory filings. This was part of an ongoing round in which famed Silicon Valley investor Mary Meeker’s Bond Capital also participated.

Menlo Park-headquartered Silver Lake was the first financial investor to pick up stake in Jio Platforms after social media firm Facebook Inc bought a 9.99% stake in the Mukesh Ambani-owned entity earlier this year.

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According to regulatory disclosures, Silver Lake owns 2.08% stake in Jio Platforms, for which it paid Rs 10,202.55 crore. The investor frenzy to back Byju’s comes amid the firm’s strong performance during the Covid-19 pandemic. Byju’s said it had seen strong growth during this time, with 64 million registered users and 4.2 million annual paid subscribers, having added 20 million new free users in the past few months.

“We look forward to working with them as Byju’s builds on and accelerates its compelling growth trajectory by forging new partnerships and continuing to cultivate a comprehensive ecosystem of innovative educational offerings,” said Greg Mondre, co-CEO at Silver Lake. So far this year, Byju’s has pulled in heavyweights such as Tiger Global, Bond Capital, DST Global, and Silver Lake, on to its shareholder list. The company raised $300-$400 million from Tiger Global and General Atlantic in January and a further $145 million from Bond Capital and DST Global recently.

Prior to this year, Byju’s is estimated to have raised $916 million across its funding rounds. It has raised a similar or slightly larger amount in 2020 alone. Its valuation too has jumped significantly in the past one year, from around $5.7 billion in July 2019 to $10.8 billion after the Silver Lake investment.

“At approximately $6 trillion, the education market is the second largest sector in the world and experiencing a significant surge in digital penetration. The meteoric growth of both WhiteHat Jr and Byju’s is illustrative of the rapidly growing and maturing ed-tech market in India and throughout the world,” Amit Patel, managing director of Owl Ventures, told ET in a recent interview. Owl Ventures is an investor in Byju’s.





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