Byju’s, founded in 2011 and the brainchild of engineer turned tech-billionaire entrepreneur Byju Raveendran, has become one of the most worthwhile companies in India and is the highest valued start-up in India. According to Forbes, Byju Raveendran is now one of India’s youngest billionaires with a net worth of $3.05 billion.
Like every start-up, Byju’s started small, and its “BYJU’s-The Learning App” was launched in 2015. Since then, it has evolved into a powerful online training platform with comprehensive training and coaching platform for multiple exams. Today, Byju’s provides online learning classes for kindergarten to Class 12 students and training for entrance tests to engineering colleges, medical colleges and civil services.
According to a recent report titled “EdTech in India” by Omidyar Network India and RedSeer Consulting, the hitherto untapped market of edtech, joint with the rapid growth in internet access, awareness and digitisation of primary education, is driving the growth of education technology in India.
Byju’s is now India's most valuable unicorn - a decacorn - valued at $16.5 billion, surpassing the $16 billion valuation of fintech and payments giant Paytm.
Edtech is the fastest expanding industry in the world
Globally, education technology is expected to grow at 16.3% from 2019 to 2025, with total international spending reaching $404 billion during the period. Even at this level, by 2025, spending on education and digital technologies will only represent 5.5% of the global education market that is pegged to be worth $ 7.3 trillion.
The size of the Indian edtech market
As per data by the Statista Research Department, the market value of the Indian K-12 education market in 2020 was approximated to be worth $1.16 billion, compared to less than $500 million valuation in the development market for education skills. In 2020 the total market value was around $2.8 billion, but by 2025 this situation will change drastically, and the whole market size will reach $10.4 billion.
According to the Omidyar Network India and Redseer Consulting report, by 2022, online education services across Classes 1 to 12 are predicted to increase 6.3 times to form a $1.7 billion market. The post-K-12 market is set to grow 3.7 times to build a $1.8 billion market.
Byju’s is ‘taking space’ in India and the world
While Byju’s is growing its own services and platform rapidly, it is also overtaking new spaces and platforms at both national and global levels to become a genuinely international education and training company.
Starting, for example, from its acquisition of the US-based start-up, EPIC – the digital reading platform for children, at $500 million, Byju’s has made space for itself on the global start-up map. No wonder it is the 11th most valuable start-up in the world.
By expanding its US footprint, Byju’s is reaching for more than any other edtech company in the world. In many of its acquisitions, the edtech start-up retains the original teams and lets them carry their functions under Byju’s umbrella, making them a Byju’s company. EPIC co-founders Suren Markosian and Kevin Donahue have also been retained in their roles. They continue carrying out the company’s mission to ‘unlock the potential of every child through reading’.
New-age business and division of success – lessons for upcoming entrepreneurs
More people ought to be credited for Byju’s expansion and success, along with Byju’s co-founders Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath and the company’s C-suite.
For instance, take Anitha Kishore, the maths teacher and Chief Strategy Officer driving acquisitions at Byju’s. Kishore is considered to be the driving force behind Byju’s massive expansion spree across international borders.
As head of the strategy, Anita Kishore works closely with Byju on inorganic growth strategies. She also plays the role of a strategic CFO, working on capital allocation decisions and fundraisers, along with investor management. This type of multi-level involvement of teachers in Byju’s growth is seen as the main force behind the edtech giant’s success.
Divya Gokulnath, Byju’s co-founder, was among the first people who started teaching on Byju’s platform. Despite being the company’s co-founder, Gokulnath counts herself as a teacher first. At Byju’s, she first started teaching easy hacks to get through campus recruitment and then shifted to mathematics, English and reasoning classes.
This goes on to show that teachers, as well as executives, at Byju’s are witnessing their renaissance as not only educators and subject matter experts but also as pioneers of business formation and market capturing. And new businesses in the segment can learn a lot from these recent trends.