Byju’s, the edtech startup that is also a fundraising and acquisition machine, plans to raise an additional $ 400-600 million from investors and submit its IPO drafts as early as the second quarter of next year.
Also in this letter:
■ Vivek Sunder joins Cuemath as CEO
■ TCS wins 10-year contract with Transport for London
■ Oyo partners with Microsoft for next generation hotel technology
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi! The top 5 are taking a break tomorrow. Until Monday.
Byju wants to raise $ 400-600 million, crack IPO schedule: report
Byju founder Byju Ravenendran
Edtech firm Byju’s is in talks to raise $ 400-600 million and expedite its IPO plans after the deal closes, Bloomberg reported today, citing sources.
Fast IPO: The company, which previously went public in 12 to 24 months, now plans to submit its draft IPO documents as early as the second quarter of next year, two of the sources said.
Valuation boost: Fundraising is likely to be an approximately equal mix of equity and debt. The company could take the deal to a valuation of approx $ 21 billion, down from a valuation of $ 1.65 billion when it raised $ 150 million from the UBS group earlier this year, the sources said. That funding made Byjus India’s most highly rated startup ahead of Paytm with $ 16 billion.
The company discussed a IPO valuation of $ 40 billion to $ 50 billion with his bankers, but that could change, they added.
Will it be SPAC? Investment bankers have also suggested alternatives like a US IPO or a merger with a special purpose vehicle (SPAC), but those options are less likely.
Read our explanation of SPACs here.
Acquisition machine: Byju’s has driven its growth largely through acquisitions, spending $ 2 billion on four companies over the past six months.
- Acquired it in April Aakash education services for $ 1 billion.
- Two acquisitions were announced in July: a career platform and a university platform Great learning for $ 600 million in cash and in stocks and Toppr for $ 150 million.
- Acquired it on September 7th classification, an online exam preparation startup, and plans to rename it to Byju’s Exam Prep.
Also fundraising machine: This acquisition frenzy was boosted by the more than 1 billion
Swiggy’s former COO Vivek Sunder joins Cuemath as CEO
Cuemath CEO Vivek Sunder
Vivek Sunder, who stepped down as Swiggy’s chief operating officer in July, has joined the online math tutoring platform Cuemath as chief executive officer, the edtech company announced. He will be responsible for growing the overall business and overseeing expansion from 20 to 50 countries, the company added.
Manan Khurma, who founded Cuemath in 2013, is appointed chairman but remains central to operations.
The new roles of Manan and Sunder take effect October 1st.
Cuemath is an online platform for learning and programming math for children from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Quote: “I am particularly impressed with Cuemath’s sharp focus on a child’s learning outcomes. I am also drawn to the mission to democratize math and bring forth the next generation of thinkers and problem solvers, ”said Sunder.
Unicorn by 2022? Cuemath’s investors include Google Capital and Sequoia Capital in India. It has raised more than $ 64 million in venture capital to date, including $ 40 million from LGT Lightstone Aspada and Alpha Wave Incubation last December.
In June, Khurma told Reuters that the company plans to raise at least $ 100 million in a new round this year and is aiming for a valuation of $ 1 billion by 2022.
Also read: Backed by Google, Cuemath is using free math classes to add users
Tweet of the day
TCS receives 10-year contract from Transport for London
The IT service provider Tata Consultancy Services has received a 10-year contract from Transport for London for the development, implementation and operation of a cloud-based intelligent mobility system for London’s taxis and private vehicles.
Driving force: As part of the contract, which can be extended by five years, TCS will set up and operate a digital system for managing documents, license payments and reimbursements to vehicle operators and owners.
The platform will include front-end interfaces as well as back-end integrations to enable activities such as booking, personal data processing and vehicle inspections.
Other completed offers
■ HomeLane raised $ 50 million in a Series E funding round led by IIFL AMC’s Late Stage Tech Fund, the Oman India Joint Investment Fund and Stride Ventures. The fresh capital will help the interior designer accelerate growth to meet its Rs 2,500 billion sales target by FY24.
■ Meer Ltd., known for his Buyers The e-commerce platform planning a foray into India plans to raise $ 6.3 billion through a stock and convertible bond sale in Southeast Asia’s largest fundraising ever.
■ Biotech startup immuntoAI raised $ 1 million in a seed financing round led by pi Ventures together with the participation of the existing investor Entrepreneur First. The capital is used for product development and for close industrial partnerships.
Oyo, Microsoft are getting involved in next generation hotel technology
The hospitality startup Oyo, supported by SoftBank, is a multi-year alliance with Microsoft Corp. to jointly develop travel and hospitality products of the “next generation”. Oyo will adopt Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform as a “key factor” in driving cloud-based innovation for small and medium-sized hotel and retail store owners.
The partnership with Microsoft will accelerate the delivery of Oyo products and enable the company to make more impact through an integrated technology ecosystem available in the cloud, the company said.
In addition to co-innovation, Oyo will also begin moving existing workloads to Microsoft Azure and adopting the Microsoft 365 suite for better collaboration and productivity. It will also move to Github Enterprise to accelerate tech development.
Microsoft has also made a strategic investment in Oyo, we reported on July 30th.
Infosys is a technologist, not a tax expert: Mohandas Pai
Former Infosys director TV Mohandas Pai
Infosys has been under fire lately for the endless glitches on the new income tax portal. Against critics, the former director TV Mohandas Pai said that the employees of Infosys and other IT companies are technologists and not experts on tax issues.
The tax problem: Pai said the dispute between the government and the IT major stems from the gap between skills and expectations on both sides.
He said the unions’ Treasury Department lacked the expertise to understand the technical complexities and also held Infosys accountable for failing to set the right expectations.
In his words: “They should have gone to the government and told them the UAT (user acceptance test) needs to be much more stringent and with the help of ICAI 200-300 auditors and experts from portals like ClearTax to do a proper UAT,” he said.
Entry deadline September 15th: Last month, Treasury Secretary Nirmala Sitharaman called Infosys CEO about the unresolved issues with the portal and gave the company until September 15, next Wednesday, to resolve them.
Also read: The clutter of the Infosys income tax portal
Today’s ETtech Top 5 Newsletter was curated by Arun Padmanabhan in New Delhi and Zaheer Merchant in Mumbai.