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Indian app developer now country’s new billionaire

Think & Learn's CEO Byju Raveendran's app "Byju's" is reported to have shot up in value to $6bn. (AED22bn).

Byju's: The Learning app reportedly shot up by $5.7bn after investor contributions earlier this month.
Byju's: The Learning app reportedly shot up by $5.7bn after investor contributions earlier this month.

The newest entrant in India's billionaire club is Bengaluru-based Byju Raveendran, the owner-developer of educational app dubbed Byju's: The Learning App—having grown to a valuation of $6bn (AED22bn) in seven years. 

His entry in the club can be owed to scoring $150mn in app-based funding earlier this month, bumping the value of his company Think & Learn Pvt. Up to $5.7bn, of which the founder reportedly owns more than 21 percent.

Byju's was launched in 2015, four years after he set up Think & Learn during the peak of online tuitions-with service providers like eTuitions and (the now defunct) LearningHour then ruling the space, since which the business has, according to a Monday report in Gulf News, signed up more than 35 million of whom about 2.4 million pay an annual fee of Rs10,000 to RS12,000, helping it become profitable in the year ending March 2019. Along with the rest of his family, the Raveendrans currently hold a total of around 35% in the company's stake.

According to findings by the Indian government-backed India Brand Equity Foundation, the country's online learning market is set to more than double to $5.7 billion by 2020. According to the CEO of Redseer Management Consulting Anil Kumar, its internet market has witnessed a growth in education tech for kindergarten through 12th grade. "Indian education start-ups are well set to seize the global opportunity given that they already cater to a large English-speaking base and have created unique education content," he added.

Byju's now intends to reach stateside, teaming up with the Walt Disney Company for US users, where the studio's mainstays between The Lion King's Simba to Frozen's Anna would reportedly teach subjects like maths and English to students from grades 1 through 3. "Kids everywhere relate to Disney's Simba or Moana, who grip kids' attention before we take them through the loop of learning," Raveendran was quoted in Gulf News as having said.

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