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January 24, 2019

SAM, Trilegal, AZB advice BYJU’S, Naspers, CPPIB in $540 million fundraising


fundraises

BYJU’S, a Bangalore-based educational technology and online tutoring firm, recently raised $540 million in funding, led by Naspers, a broad-based multinational internet and media group, with a significant portion also being contributed by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

A Press Release issued by Naspers stated, “Naspers leads US$540 million investment in BYJU’S, one of the world’s largest edtech companies. New funds will fuel international expansion and further personalize learning.”

The Release added, “The investment will drive the BYJU’S team to further innovate, explore, and set new benchmarks for tech-enabled learning products. The company has plans for international market expansion and will make bold investments in technology that will help to further personalize learning for students.”

Byju Raveendran, Founder & CEO of BYJU’S, said, “We are happy to have prominent and long-term partners like Naspers and CPPIB on board with us. This partnership will strengthen our ability to deliver on our vision to build the world’s largest education company. India has the largest population attending primary school in the world and Indian households are willing to invest a lot in their children’s education because a good education is viewed as the best path to success. I believe the importance of quality education amongst the entire population in India fueled our ability to create an engaging and high-impact learning app.”

He further added, “While near-term profitability is important for us, as a company, our main focus continues to be on long-term sustainable growth. The edtech industry is undergoing massive shifts; students today want to learn through engaging and interactive methods. We are pioneering ‘better learning for tomorrow’ with technology as an enabler and we have been working towards making students active learners. It is only through active learning that we can prepare our youth for jobs of tomorrow.”

Russell Dreisenstock, Head of International Investments, Naspers Ventures, said, “Naspers partners with high-potential companies that are tackling big societal needs like education, which represents a significant sector ripe for disruption across the globe.”

He further added, “With the largest school-age population in the world and a growing middle-class with the willingness to commit significant resources towards quality education for their children, BYJU’S is perfectly positioned to provide an effective supplemental education solution for students across India. We partnered with BYJU’S because we believe the company’s success in India will translate across borders in any country where students are looking for an innovative and engaging form of education beyond the classroom.”

Notably, Russell will be joining the BYJU’S Board of Directors.

LAW FIRMS INVOLVED:

BYJU’S was represented by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (SAM). The team included Partners Amit Khansaheb and Roshan Thomas, Principal Associate Prateek Lala, and Associate Siddharth Madhavan.

Naspers was advised by Trilegal. The team included Partner Yogesh Singh, Counsel Nitika Chhabra, Senior Associate Ramya Suresh, and Associate Deepika Yadav. The tax aspects were handled by Partner Samsuddha Majumdar, Senior Associate Komal Dani, and Associate Manan Jain. In addition, IT/IPR aspects were managed by Partner Nikhil Narendran and Associate Jishnu Sanyal. Moreover, Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP also advised Naspers, with a team including Partner Jonathan C Pentzien and Associates Laura E Hansell and Sean G Traynor. CPPIB was represented by AZB & Partners. The team included Partners Darshika Kothari and Arvind Ramesh and Senior Associates Medha Marathe and Palak Khandelwal.

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