India’s newest billionaire is a former classroom teacher who developed an education app that now commands a valuation of $ 5.7 billion after its latest round of fund raising.
BYJU Raveendran, owner of BYJU’s learning app has joined the elite club of Indian billionaires after his holding company, Think & Learn, secured $ 150 million in funding from Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund based out of Qatar. This deal conferred a value of $ 5.7 billion on the company, in which Mr. Byju owns more than 21%, catapulting him into the coveted billionaire list at the young age of just 37 years.
Raveendran – who said he wants to do for Indian education what Mickey Mouse has done for entertainment, will be teaming up with Walt Disney, the American media giant, and taking his services to US shores by early 2020. His latest collaboration would see Disney characters such as Lion King’s Simba teach Math and English to students from first to third standard.
The story of this self made billionaire, from growing up in a village on India’s southern coast where his parents were school teachers, to attracting some of the world’s biggest investors such as Naspers, Tencent Holdings, Sequoia Capital and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, is no short of extraordinary.
BYJU’s became profitable from the year ending March 2019. And this would finally pave the way to court even more investors who believe in his vision, making way for an even richer valuation going forward.