Byju Raveendran, the founder of Indian e-learning startup BYJU’S, knows how to press an advantage. As users of his company’s signature app nearly doubled to 80 million during the COVID-19 pandemic, he went on a spending spree, fueled by funding from investors like Tencent and BlackRock. The BYJU’S summer acquisition of WhiteHat Jr, an app that teaches kids to code—along with the purchase of Silicon Valley educational-game maker Osmo in 2019—gives the company a foothold in the U.S. e-learning market. In April, the company announced plans to dramatically expand outside its home base in India, adding one-on-one lessons in the U.S., the U.K., Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil. BYJU’S also snapped up a leading Indian test-prep school for almost $1 billion. The explosive growth has turned BYJU’S into one of India’s most lucrative startups—increasing the company’s expected value to $15 billion, up from $5.5 billion in July 2019
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