37-Year-old Byju CEO becomes India’s latest billionaire

first_img Shweta Ganjoo New DelhiJuly 29, 2019UPDATED: July 30, 2019 08:56 IST HIGHLIGHTSByju secured a funding of $150 million earlier this month.The funding increased the valuation of Byju to $5.7 billion.The latest round of funding made Byju Raveendran India’s newest billionaire.Byju, the Banglore-based tutoring app, secured a funding of $150 million earlier this month. The deal raised the valuation of the company to $5.7 billion and making its chief executive officer Byju Raveendran India’s newest billionaire.For those of you who don’t know, Byju – The Learning App, which is the new official sponsor for the Indian cricket team, was launched by Raveendran, an engineer who started coaching classes for students back in 2006. Gradually, the popularity of his classes increased and soon Raveendran, who grew up in a village on India’s southern coast saw himself teaching thousands of students in sports stadiums and commuting between multiple cities on the weekends. This prompted Raveendran, who owns roughly 21 per cent in the company, to start an educational company called Think and Learn in 2011 wherein he offered online lesson to students. The success of his venture lead Raveendran to launch the main app in 2015.His business has grown exponentially since the launch of the app and today the app has more than 35 million subscriber over 2.4 million of which pay an annual fees ranging between Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000. This phenomenal growth enabled the company to become profitable by the end of March 2019, Bloomberg reported. This prompted the Raveendran to seek funding from long term investors, which ultimately lead him to secure the latest round of funding from Qatar Investement Authority.What was the ultimate confirmation of Byju vision was the interest of some of the biggest venture capitalist giants such as Naspers Ventures, Tencent Holding, Sequoia Capitals and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan in his app.advertisementThe company is now expected to post a revenue of $435 million in the year ending in 2020.Interestingly, the report about the company’s valuation concides with the announcement by Byju, that has been named after its founder and who along with his brother and his wife own 35 per cent stake in the company, coincides with the announcement that it will partner with Walt Disney Corporation that will enable him to launch his app in the US with popular charcters from The Lion King and Frozen in early 2020.”We are customizing Disney Byju’s to the American and British school curriculum…The characters have universal appeal,” Byju founder told the publication.ALSO READ: | Soon you will be able to use WhatsApp even when your smartphone is turned offALSO READ: | Apple admits its contractors regularly listen to small parts of Siri’s voice recordingsALSO READ: | Apple may launch two additional iPad models later this yearGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShweta Ganjoo Tags :Follow BYJUFollow Byju Raveendran Next 37-Year-old Byju CEO becomes India’s latest billionaireByju has partnered with Walt Disney Corporation to launch the app in the US with popular characters from The Lion King and Frozen in early 2020.advertisementlast_img read more

Tackling corruption crucial to Afghanistans future stresses UN envoy

18 December 2008The top United Nations envoy to Afghanistan today called the fight against corruption one of the single most important issues for the future of the young democracy, and urged all of its citizens and its international partners to combat the scourge. “Every Afghan citizen and every international stakeholder must commit to fighting corruption,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Kai Eide, said during an event in Kabul that was attended by President Hamid Karzai and other senior members of the Government.“We must all demonstrate – every day and at all levels that we reject corruption. The example we all set will shape the future. It can restore trust. It can bring development. It can meet the most basic human needs. It can turn resignation into hope.“By loudly and stubbornly rejecting corruption, it is possible to remove an obstacle to the future that all Afghans want and deserve,” said Mr. Eide, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).The Special Representative emphasized that Afghanistan is not alone in facing this global scourge. “It can be seen in so many countries with weak institutions, countries in conflict or in post-conflict situations. And it can also be seen in the most developed Sates,” he pointed out.A survey earlier this year by Integrity Watch Afghanistan, the average Afghan household pays an estimated $100 in petty bribes every year – this in a nation where around 70 per cent of the population survives on less than $1 per day. In addition, in only three years, Afghanistan has dropped from 119th out of 159 in Transparency International’s corruption perception index to the fifth last in the world. “In the words of a recent World Bank report, corruption has become widespread – even pervasive,” noted Mr. Eide. He stressed how important fighting corruption is for a country like Afghanistan which is trying to promote peace and development. “We all know that corruption hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development. It means taking money away from the most needy, fuelling their frustration and anger. “It undermines the credibility of the State by damaging its ability to provide basic services. It undermines the building of much needed infrastructure and of strong institutions. It diminishes confidence in democracy. It undermines confidence in government and those who govern at every level of society. It keeps investors away instead of attracting them.“It is a matter of civic duty – and religious command – to contribute to the fight against corruption whenever and wherever we see it,” he stressed. Mr. Eide applauded the steps taken by Afghanistan so far to help it “turn the corner,” including ratifying the UN Convention Against Corruption, elaborating the Anti-Corruption and Administrative Reform strategy, and establishing the High Office of Oversight to coordinate national anti-corruption efforts.At the same time, he noted that real progress will require further efforts. “Only the first steps have been taken. More will be required – to ensure the confidence of Afghans in their future and the continued commitment of public opinion in donor countries.” read more