BlackRock, Sands Capital Lead $300-Million Investment in Byju’s

India’s online education startup Byju’s raised funding fromBlackRock Inc., Sands Capital and Alkeon Capital, as the company expands to meet growing demand for its services.

The round totaled about $300 million and values Byju’s at about $11 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. Existing backersTiger Global,General Atlantic andOwl Ventures also invested, the company said, while private equity giantSilver Lake put money into the startup earlier this month.

Investors are increasing support for India’s edtech startups as the country’s pandemic challengespreads and closes schools. Byju’s was founded by Byju Raveendran, a former teacher and son of educators, who conceived the smartphone app in 2011.

Read more:Billionaire Milner Nears $400 Million Funding in Byju’s

The company, whose investors also include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, caters to students from kindergarten through 12th grade and has over 70 million registered users and over 4.5 million paid subscribers. It aims to simplify math and science concepts for students through games and videos.

With the coronavirus pandemic, parents, teachers and schools have been forced to adopt digital learning tools. Byju’s rivals are also gathering backers: online learning startupVedantu raised $100 million from U.S.-based investorCoatue Management, whileSoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund issaid to be leading a funding round that valuesUnacademy at $1.45 billion.

Read more:SoftBank Invests in India’s Unacademy at $1.45 Billion Valuation

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