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Qatar Investment Authority to buy less than 5% stake in BYJU’s for $250Mn


After closing a $540 million round at $5.4 billion valuation in March this year, edtech startup BYJU’s is in the last leg of closing $200-250 million investment from sovereign fund of Qatar – Qatar Investment Authority.

For the Gulf-based country, this is the first investment in the Indian tech-based startup space. Earlier, it had invested in more conventional corporate space like $1.2 billion in telecom company Airtel, $300 million in RMZ Corp, an office space developer and is also reported to be considering investment in Indian affordable housing space.

In BYJU’s, with the $200-250 million investment, the firm is going to acquire approximately (less than) 5% stake, where the scope of secondary stake sale cannot be ascertained. The term sheets for the contract have been signed, reveal Business Standard sources.

This deal marks the rising trend of prestigious government funds from reputed countries investing in the fast-growing and a little riskier Indian tech startup space, rather than the traditional spaces of the public market, financial services or realty.

BYJU’s has been stellar in this sense as this is the second time it has become the first startup to receive funding from one such funds. Earlier in the recent $540 million funding, the top edtech startup in the country had attracted monetary infusion from Canadian pension fund CPPIB.

While BYJU’s accounted for the first startup funding by CPPIB, now the Canadian fund is also acquiring 8% stake in Indian logistics startup Delhivery for $150 million.

QIA, had announced this newfound interest in the Indian startup ecosystem in December last year where the CEO Ibrahim-al-Mahmoud had come forward to a news agency to reveal the plans.

It is likely that the country will keep seeing more such investments with the likes of GIC and OPIC being regular foreign govt investors in Indian startups and now CPPIB and QIA also taking up the role.

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