Byju’s, India’s most valuable startup, is in talks with lenders to acquire more than $1 billion in acquisition financing as the online education provider looks to aggressively grow its business, people familiar with the situation stated.
The Bangalore-based market leader is in talks with banks, including Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co., for funding to takeover another edtech company, according to the sources, who asked not to be named as the information is not public. They didn’t say anything about the acquisition target and said that the terms of the transaction and the funding are yet to be finalized.
Byju’s, helmed by former teacher Byju Raveendran, has been buying up businesses offering coding lessons, professional learning courses, and test prep programmes for competitive Indian examinations in recent years in the US and overseas. Bloomberg reported earlier this year that the business was valued at $22 billion after raising funds this year and is working on plans for an initial public offering.
JPMorgan and Byju’s representatives declined to comment on the financing. Morgan Stanley representative did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment right away.
According to information on the platform’s website, the platform’s app has been downloaded more than 150 million times, and clients spend an average of 71 minutes each day on it. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers Ltd., Tiger Global Management, and Sequoia Capital India have all invested in the company, which is formally known as Think & Learn Pvt. Ltd.
After schools and tutoring centres were forced to close their doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing parents, teachers, and students to seek alternative learning resources, the popularity of online classes soared in the country of almost 1.4 billion people with one of the world’s youngest populations. Byju’s has also expanded its product portfolio to include one-on-one coaching with teachers in India and other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and Australia.
Source: Economic Times