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Exclusive: Byju’s raises $23 Mn from BOND Capital; Raveendran’s family holds $3.25 Bn worth stake


Edtech decacorn Byju’s has recently raised a funding round from Mary Meeker’s BOND Capital and regulatory filings reveal that it has infused $23 million in the Bengaluru-based edtech firm. The infusion from BOND Capital is the third round of funding for the company this year.

Byju’s has raised the sum from BOND Asia Holdings, regulatory filings show. The company has made an allotment of 8,070 Series F compulsorily convertible preference shares (CCPS) at an issue price of $2850.06 per share to the American investment firm. 

Several media reports had speculated that the new financing from BOND valued Byju’s at $10.5 billion, but Fintrackr’s estimate confirms the valuation of $10 billion and BOND Capital would hold 0.23% of share capital on a fully diluted basis.

Prior to the infusion from Bond, Byju’s had raised two large rounds in 2020 including a $200 million round each from hedge fund Tiger Global and General Atlantic. As of now, the Byju Raveendran-led firm has raised around $1.2 billion in investment from Tencent, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), Sofina and Lightspeed among others. 

While the individual stakeholding of Raveendran, his wife Divya Gokulnath and brother Riju Raveendran couldn’t be ascertained, together they hold a little over one-third of Byju’s. This is quite rare among Indian unicorns where co-founders own such a large chunk of the company after raising over a billion dollars across several institutional rounds. 

Ritesh Aggarwal appears to be the only founder of a venture-backed unicorn to hold around 30% of Oyo. He raised his stake after acquiring a 15% stake of the company’s early stage backers – Lightspeed and Sequoia. Aggarwal had taken a loan of $1.5 billion by pledging his equity to Mizuho and Nomura Holdings.

According to Fintrackr’s calculation, the Raveendran family holds 33.45% which is worth $3.25 billion. This makes Byju’s and his family one of the richest promoters in the Indian startup ecosystem. Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma is another founder who has stakes worth over a billion USD.

Byju’s has also allotted 1860 equity shares for Rs 4650 per share to the four employees under its ESOP plan 2019, shows separate regulatory filings. Unique Jain, Byju’s principal product manager, and the three software architects – Smit Patel, Brijesh Patel and Arunogshu Bhakta – have received 465 equity shares each from the company. The fresh allotment of ESOPs is worth Rs 53 lakhs.

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