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Byju’s raises funds from China

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Byju’s, an online education start-up, has raised an undisclosed amount from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. The announcement comes shortly after an investment of $30 million from Brussels-based Verlinvest. The said round closed at a $600 million valuation.

“We are excited to have Tencent on board with us. This makes our strong investor portfolio even more diverse,” said Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO, Byju’s.

WHAT IS TENCENT HOLDINGS

1. Tencent Holdings is a Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed holding firm that owns a plethora of companies in the media, entertainment and internet commerce space

2. Company behind WeChat, China’s most popular instant messaging and social payments platform

3. Among the most active foreign investors in start-ups in India

“Byju’s has emerged as the clear leader in the Indian education-tech sector. We share Byju’s mission of transforming education by creating personalized learning experiences for students,” said Hongwei Chen, executive director of investments and M&A at Tencent.

WHAT IS BYJU’S

1. Started by Raveendran in 2011, Byju’s offers visual and text-based study material for students in schools and those preparing for competitive exams

2. Launched a Byju’s mobile app in 2015, which has since grown to nine million users and 450,000 annual paid subscriptions

3. Aims to take the success global with its eyes set on the US, among other English-speaking markets

4. Clocked sales of Rs260 crore in the fiscal year ended March 2017, up from Rs115 crore in the previous year

FUTURE TARGET

“With increased brand awareness and strong adoption amongst students, this year we expect the revenue to double again and we will be profitable on a full year basis,” Raveendran said in a statement.

Byju’s has till date (excluding the current round) raised about $200 million from investors. It is backed by Sequoia Capital and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, among others.

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Slew of buyouts in education technology space 

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A recent wave of consolidation in the education technology business could result in companies with the size and scale required to tap the opportunity in the space in India.

Varun Aggarwal is hunting for companies that can help his firm scale up operation and provide more solutions in the education and jobs assessment space. He is the co-founder of Aspiring Minds that helps students assess their job-readiness and helps find better candidates by using assessment tools.

Aspiring Minds acquired two firms in past 18 months:

–one that helps students find internships

–another in the jobs and skills assessment space

“We are on the lookout for firms that can help our business,” said Aggarwal. Ed-tech, as it is called, is older than new flavours fin-tech and food-tech, but it has flattered, only to deceive.

THE WAVE IS TIDING UP

1. In July, ed-tech start-up Byju’s (Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd) acquired Pearson Plc’s TutorVista and Edurite for an undisclosed amount. It was a bid aimed at expanding its global reach and offerings for students.

2. Kota-based test prep firm Career Point said in June it would buy online test-prep firm Plancess EduSolutions.

3. Online competitive exam and tuition start-up toppr.com in 2016 acquired Manch

4. Careers 360 (education technology firm )has already acquired two companies

 

THE BENEFITS

Experts believe…

1. Such activity is good for the eductaion sector as a whole

2. If somebody has developed a solution and is buyable, buy it for the betterment in education sector

Investors poured in $517 million across 231 deals in ed-tech sector since 2014, according to Tracxn Technologies, a start-ups tracker. The ed-tech space raised funds worth $101.7 million in 2014, $126.4 million in 2015, $186.1 million in 2016 and $103.4 million so far in 2017, Tracxn data showed.

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Seed Funding For Online Education Start-Up Leverage Edu

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Give and take phenomenon was yet again witnessed. Leverage Edu of New Delhi, an online platform which offers students higher education services through its website leverageedu.com was seed funded by potential investors for strengthening its team and development of the product. However quantum of the amount was not disclosed. It is move to tap in the market that search giant Google and consultancy firm KPMG estimate will grow almost eight times to hit $1.96 billion by 2021.

The investors who made it possible were Kashyap Deorah, founder of HyperTrack; VRL Logistics Managing Director Anand Sankeshwar; Sadashiva NT, former Chief Financial Officer of Babajobs; and Arjun Mehta, former CFO at American Express India, among others.

It’ll Be Used For Development Of Education

Founded in April, 2017, Leverage is led by Akshay Chaturvedi and Rajiv Ganjoo. Chaturvedi, an alumnus of Indian School of Business, was earlier a Senior Executive at recruitments portal Babajobs. This also includes stints at CL Educate and Veritas. It incorporates machine learning to aid students to be at par with 2500 colleges and 100 experts procedure, offer college admissions and finance services, which include help in creating profiles for universities, writing research papers, filing patents and dedicated counseling through experts. It aids students to be at par with 2500 colleges and 100 experts. To universities, Leverage offers UnivGateway, a Saas-based (software-as-a service) tool to help them admit the right students.

“As per the official statement of Leverage Edu which is in the same segment as that of Careers360, their machine intelligence and a well organized team of experts guide the students in choosing the right, and avoid the selection of inexperienced traditional options, many times family members,” said Chaturvedi. This software of Leverage will provide help to aspiring student work on her applications, get on-demand mentoring, access to education loans and foreign exchange, living, and much more.”

 

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AI Won’t Take Away All Artificial Jobs says Vikram Jeet Singh

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KPMG VP announces At IIM Rohtak Summit

Allaying fears that Artificial Intelligence (AI) would replace humans from all jobs, Mr. Vikram Jeet Singh, Vice President, KPMG, said, “Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is happening, there is no denying that. However, the robots can only do the recreative jobs without tiring. That will allow humans to focus more on value creation. Artificial Intelligence, for sure, is not going to take away all jobs”.

Mr. Singh was addressing the students of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Rohtak at a management summit.

He continued his assertion saying “Managers should focus on the core business and build the services around them. Uber’s core business is not aggregating cars but transporting a person from place A to B.

‘Crossroads: Paradox of Choice’

The theme of the summit was ‘Crossroads: Paradox of Choice’. It was an attempt to counter the idea that having too many choices is a good thing. The summit was attended by dignitaries from various industry sectors as well as the media.

Director, IIM Rohtak, Dr. Dheeraj Sharma said, “The purpose of the summit is to facilitate increased interaction between the academia and the industry. This will help in bringing the curriculum in sync with the industry needs.”  He also celebrated the fact that IIM Rohtak is one of the few new IIMs that has ensured a cent percent placement record since its inception in 2009.

The big-wigs at the Summit

Mr. Deepak Jindal, DGM, HCL, Mr. Pankaj Sharma, President and Chief Risk Officer at Religare, Mr. Rajat Mathur, Director of strategy and operations at Deloitte, Mr. Vivek Ohri, Senior Principal with Accenture Consulting and Mr. Fela Chawngthu, Sales and Marketing leader at Adobe were among the top dignitaries present at the summit.

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