Investments

Byju's Raises $500M In Funding Round Led By Silver Lake

Indian educational technology firm Byju's has gotten a leg up from a $500 million funding round led by private equity titan Silver Lake, Bloomberg reported.

Existing investors Tiger Global Management, General Atlantic and Owl Ventures also participated, Bloomberg reported. Byju's valuation is now at about $10.8 billion.

The push comes from the current trend in India for parents to seek online alternatives to education due to the pandemic. Byju's works to simplify math and science for kids through games and videos, according to Bloomberg, catering to students between kindergarten and 12th grade.

The company has over 64 million registered users and over 4.2 million paid subscribers. Byju's was already doing well before the pandemic as its revenues doubled in the year ending in March. Since then, the pandemic has affected around 250 million Indian children through school closures. Parents, even those not on board, have had to adopt digital strategies to help their kids keep learning, Bloomberg reported.

Byju's has seen considerable investment activity, including from Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg's Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Naspers. The company is also reportedly close to securing other funding, including $400 million from Yuri Milner's DST Global, although sources told Bloomberg that that deal hasn't yet been completed.

Other edtech companies that rival Byju's are also seeing more activity. Vedantu has just come off a $100 million fundraiser from U.S. investor Coatue Management, and Unacademy has been rumored to be the recipient of a funding round led by SoftBank valuing it at $1.45 billion, according to Bloomberg.

The pandemic is affecting schools everywhere, with the global value of the sector projected to be sitting at $325 billion by 2025, according to PYMNTS. That's an increase of around $12.8 billion over the next four years.

And in the U.S., one company called Outschool has been working to maximize the inventive new ways to learn online, including incorporating popular songs to teach Spanish and using the game Minecraft to educate about architecture, PYMNTS reported.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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