This 37-Year Old Ex School Teacher Has Become One of India’s Youngest Billionaires
Bringing to you, the newest entry in India’s Billionaire’s Club, the youngest one to join most lately, Byju Raveendran, the founder of Indian online tutoring startup Byju’s. He is a 37 year old entrepreneur and a former classroom teacher. His company did very good and has upgraded to a valuation of $6 billion in about seven years.
The app provides online classes to students. The announcements are that Byju’s app will soon be teaming up with Walt Disney Co. and is looking forward to expand the app to the United States, with characters from The Lion King and Frozen helping students learn better, by 2020.
Byju Raveendran Becomes the Youngest Billionaire of India
The Bangalore-based online tutoring app, Byju’s secured a funding of $150 million earlier this month. This deal raised the valuation of the company to $5.7 billion, automatically declaring its founder and chief executive officer Byju Raveendran as India’s newest billionaire. He owns roughly 2% in his company.
Thanks to easy availability of cheap smartphones and cut-price wireless plans, India’s online learning market is blooming more than ever and is expected to reach $5.7 billion by 2020. Taking its full use, Byju’s app is soaring its wings in this platform and looks like it won’t stop for another considerable years. Byju’s own fortunes have climbed alongside the market. Its revenues are expected to more than double to ?3,000 crore by the end of this FY.
Venture capitalist giants like Naspers Ventures, Tencent Holding, Sequoia Capitals and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are highly interested in his app.
Byju’s app has more than 35 million signups today, with about 2.4 million individuals paying an annual fee of ?10,000 to ?12,000. This helped Raveendran to seek funding from long term investors that ultimately led him to secure the latest round of funding from Qatar Investement Authority.
Byju’s App Ties up with Disney Co.
The 37-year old entrepreneur, Byju Raveendran is very enthusiastic about teaching and quotes that he wants to do for the education industry what Walt Disney did for the entertainment sector. Right from soaring to the heights of creativity, Byju’s will be casting The Lion King’s Simba and Frozen’s Anna to teach subjects like mathematics and English for students from 1st grade to 3rd.
Byju believes that in a world with students having lesser attention spans, it is essential to keep the approach simple and captivating, hence transforming the content distributed for the purpose becomes essential. Raveendran has always harbored ambitions to crack English-speaking countries, and has flown in YouTube stars to feature in his videos.
Good for him, Disney will provide it a swarm of audience. For notes on temperature, they’ll use the scene from Frozen, where Elsa falls ill because she constantly plays with snow. Anna gets the thermometer and a small story is built on lines of heat and cold. Similar approach is taken for the explanation of understanding different shapes and their geometries. Here comes in the characters from ‘Cars’, with all sorts of items like tires, traffic cones and billboards into buckets to learn about round, triangular and rectangular shapes.
A Brief History of the Founder
Not only has Byju Raveendran outdone himself as an entrepreneur, he has been an excellent teacher in his early days. Growing up in a village on India’s southern coast, Byju was highly interested in playing and studied on returning homo. He did his engineering and started helping students to crack top engineering exams and started teaching thousands in sports stadiums and flew from one city to another for delivering his lectures.
He started with Think & Learn in 2011 that offered online lessons, thereafter launching Byju’s app in 2015. Along with his wife and brother, his family owns a stake of 35% in the company.