DST Global has injected $122m to push the Tencent, Naspers and BCC-backed online education platform’s series F funding to more than $145m.
Byju’s, an India-based online tutoring service backed by corporates Bennett Coleman & Co (BCC), Naspers and Tencent, has raised $122m from investment firm DST Global, the Economic Times has reported.
The funding will be added to an investment by Bond Capital in June this year that was sized at $23.5m and which increased Byju’s valuation to $10.5bn. Both investments are part of an ongoing series F round with a target size of $400m.
Overseen by holding company Think and Learn, Byju’s has built a freemium mobile app that helps students in primary and secondary education study mathematics and science subjects and prepare for domestic and international exams.
The platform had grown its user base from 40 million registered users earlier this year to 57 million as of June, as schools across India remained closed. Byju’s said in June it was adding more than 300,000 paid subscribers per month and that 3.5 million of its customers were premium users.
Byju’s has set its sights on an expansion in the United States, having acquired US-based peer Osmo for $100m in January 2019. It also purchased Whitehat Jr, the developer of an online platform that teaches children how to code, for $300m last month.
The newest funding comes after the company partnered media and entertainment conglomerate Walt Disney to launch a mobile app specifically targeted at children aged six to eight.
Byju’s had raised $200m from General Atlantic in February this year at an $8bn valuation, a month after Tiger Global Management did the same. Qatar Investment Authority had already led a $150m round for the company in July 2019 that also featured Owl Ventures.
Naspers Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of e-commerce group Naspers that has since been folded into strategic VC firm Prosus Ventures, led a $540m round for Byju’s in late 2018 that consisted of primary and secondary shares, also featuring Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board and General Atlantic.
The company raised $40m from internet group Tencent in July 2017 to bring its total funding to $244m, after Verlinvest had supplied $31m four months earlier. It had previously attracted $15m in funding from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation in December 2016.
Media group BCC’s Times Internet subsidiary had participated in a $50m round for Byju’s three months earlier that was co-led by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and existing backer Sequoia Capital and which included existing investors Sofina and Lightspeed Venture Partners.