The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), which was conceived by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his philanthropist and paediatrician wife Priscilla Chan last year in December, has finally made its first investment in Asia. CZI has decided to invest its money in Bengaluru-based learning app Byju’s founded in the year 2007.
CZI will be co-investing in Byju’s $50 million funding round along with Times Internet, Lightspeed Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Sofina. The company named after its founder, Byju Raveendran, had earlier this year also raised a whopping $75 million from Sofina and Sequoia in March.
According to business analysts, the latest funding round makes Byju’s valuation touch an impressive $500 million. The company has however declined to confirm the valuation figure.
Byju’s intends to invest the $125 million raised in the last two fundings rounds this year for two purposes, firstly, for expanding its services in other English-speaking countries and secondly, for making international acquisitions.
The company has managed to generate a revenue of Rs 120 crore in the period of first five months of this running fiscal year and the India operations of the company are minting profits.
As a part of the investment deal, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Vivian Wu will be joining Byju’s board. According to Vivian, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative believes in extending its support to innovative models of learning wherever they may be present all around the globe. Hence, they have selected Byju’s as its first investment in Asia.
Byju’s started its journey around 7 years ago as a test preparation business and helping CAT aspirants to prepare for the competitive exam. From CAT, it then expanded to various other competitive exams and eventually graduated to making educational video classes. However, the turning point for Byju’s came last year when it launched its mobile application. Within just one year of its launch, the app has managed to attract more than 5.5 million downloads and 250,000 paid annual subscribers, which is quite an impressive feat, of course.
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