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The story of Byju's: From humble beginnings to a Decacorn

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Let’s talk about Byju’s which recently made headlines for securing funding from Mary Meeker and becoming a decacorn valued at $10.5 billion. Furthermore, it acquired WhiteHat Jr, a live online coding edtech start-up, for $300 million in an all-cash deal. With this acquisition, it plans to expand into coding subject too, a promising and fast-growing segment in the K-12 segment, using WhiteHat Jr's technology and other resources. The journey of Byju’s is a success story of how a man started with humble beginnings and moved on to build the world’s most valued EdTech start-up. It is the first Asian company to have been funded by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic initiative of Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan. It has also found a place in the Harvard Business School case studies.

The journey of Byju's

Business model:

Byju’s follows an app-based B2C freemium business model. This means that users can access content for free and then have to pay for plans to continue its services. Free access to content is limited to 15 days after the registration. Also, Byju’s association with its key partners like Sequoia, Tencent and IFC have helped it to leverage partner’s resources like technology infrastructure to aid in platform development.

Freemium model

Brand differentiation:

Byju’s is known for the features or innovations of its product which is the Byju’s Learning app. Video delivery model, good quality content complemented with an easy-to-use platform is what makes it attractive. There are many educational sites which provide video-based tutorials. But at Byju’s, a student gets a personalized experience using knowledge graph feature and can proceed at their own pace. Also, the sales professionals of Byju’s provide free counseling session at the doorstep to engage more with the customers.


Byju’s spends heavily on advertising. Byju’s collaborated with Disney and Shah Rukh Khan and now, Mohan Lal as the brand ambassador to connect with the students. The learning app featured trademark Disney stories including frozen, cars, toy story, Disney princesses and more. What came as a surprise for many was the fact that Byju’s took over te jersey branding of team India from Oppo, a major Chinese handset maker. The association was different in the sense that it was the first time a digital brand had taken over jersey branding and was a huge sponsorship amounting to Rs 1079 crore in 2017.

Undoubtedly, India’s most loved tutoring app is on a growth rampage and is among the rare product innovations of India. It is now eyeing overseas expansion and already has presence in the Middle East.

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