The online course and tutoring provider, which counts Tencent, BCC and Naspers as investors, bumped its valuation up to $10.8bn in the round.

Byju’s, the India-based online education provider backed by corporate investors Tencent, Naspers and Bennett Coleman & Co (BCC), has secured $500m in funding, TechCrunch reported today.

Private equity firm Silver Lake led the series F round, which valued the company at $10.8bn according to a source familiar with the matter. It included Tiger Global Management, General Atlantic, Owl Ventures, DST Global, which invested $122m last month, and $23.5m supplied by Bond Capital in June.

Founded in 2011, Byju’s runs an online platform that offers courses and online tutoring in addition to a specially crafted early learning scheme. Since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, it has added 20 million students to a user base that now totals 64 million.

Byju Raveendran, co-founder and chief executive of Byju’s, told TechCrunch: “We are fortunate to be in a sector of positive relevance during this crisis.

“This has brought online learning to the forefront and is helping parents, teachers and students experience and understand its value. Our classrooms are changing possibly for the first time in 100 years and I am really excited about the opportunities that we have to redefine the future of learning,”

The company received $200m in funding from General Atlantic in a February 2020 deal that valued it at $8bn, just weeks after Tiger Global invested $200m, reportedly at the same valuation. Qatar Investment Authority and Owl Ventures provided $150m in July 2019 at a $5.75bn valuation.

The July round came seven months after media and e-commerce group Naspers led a $540m primary and secondary round featuring Owl Ventures and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board through subsidiary Naspers Ventures, valuing Byju’s at $3.7bn post-money.

Byju’s had previously raised $244m, $50m of which came from BCC’s Times Internet subsidiary, Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in September 2016.

Internet group Tencent supplied $40m for the company in July 2017, and its earlier investors also include Verlinvest and Aarin Capital.