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Byju Raveendran is the founder of edutech start-up Byju's. Son of physics and mathematics teachers from Azhikode village in Kannur district of Kerala, Raveendran is a former teacher who turned an entrepreneur. An engineering graduate, he started teaching maths to friends (and whoever else wanted to learn) after spending a couple of years at a shipping company. He would help students prepare for entrance exams like the common entrance exam (CAT). In 2003, he appeared for CAT himself and scored 100%, despite not studying enough for the exam. Two years later, he helped some others crack CAT and then decided to take up teaching as a full-time job. Raveendran went from teaching a few friends, to teaching hundreds of students in large auditoriums, and taking classes through satellite communication. He set up Think & Learn in 2011, to offer online lessons, before launching his main app in 2015. In 2018, Byju Raveendran won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Startup category).
Raveendran’s start-up Byju’s runs on a freemium model and trains students for Indian examinations like IIT-JEE, NEET, CAT and IAS, as well as international ones such as GRE and GMAT. In July, 2019 Byju's acquired Indian cricket team jersey rights.
Today, Byju's has grown into the world's most successful edutech start-ups with 33 million users and 2.2 million paid subscribers. According to data available as on July 2019, its valuation has quadrupled in the past year. That also makes it one of the top five most-valuable internet companies in the country. The present value of this unicorn company is $3.6 billion.
The Byju's app has become a business case at Harvard Business School. It has received several awards, including the Business Standard Annual Award for Corporate Excellence (2018).