BYJU’S, an Indian educational technology company, has been named the official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup 2022, according to the company’s announcement on Thursday.
Moreover, Byju Raveendran’s company has now become the first Indian entity, as well as the first edtech player, to be associated with the FIFA World Cup.
This year’s FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar, and it will begin on November 21. On December 18, the global tournament’s final match will be played. The most prestigious football tournament, held every four years, is one of the world’s largest sporting events and the largest single-sport event, with billions of people watching.
“We are excited to be sponsoring the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the biggest single-sport event in the world. It is a matter of pride for us to represent India on such a prestigious global stage and champion the integration of education and sport. Sport is a big part of life and brings together people across the world. Just as football inspires billions, we at BYJU’S hope to inspire the love of learning in every child’s life through this partnership,” Byju’s founder and CEO Byju Raveendran commented on the association with the FIFA World Cup.
Moreover, BYJU’S will be able to use FIFA World Cup 2022 marks, emblems, and assets, as well as run special promotions, as a result of this partnership. As part of a multifaceted activation plan, it will also create engaging and creative content with educational messages.
“FIFA is dedicated to harnessing the power of football towards the goal of enacting positive societal change. We’re delighted to be partnered with a company like BYJU’S, which is also engaging communities and empowering young people wherever they may be in the world,” FIFA’s Chief Commercial Officer Kay Madati said.
In addition, he said, “We look forward to supporting the promotion of BYJU’S educational learning opportunities, as well as having them join the global drumbeat of excitement for the FIFA World Cup 2022 through its association with this groundbreaking tournament.”
Meanwhile, BYJU’S has a customer base of around 150 million students and is present in 120 countries around the world.
The company now offers a variety of educational programmes ranging from kindergarten to class 12, as well as competitive exam preparation, early learning, and coding, ten years after its inception and professional upskilling courses through its subsidiaries Osmo, Tynker, Epic, Great Learning, Aakash, and Toppr.
BYJU’S Qatar partnerships date back years, when the startup raised $150 million from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), in 2019. This partnership with FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 comes at a time when many Indian startups and their logos, including BYJU’S, have become well-known in the Indian cricket world.
BYJU’S Journey in Sports Partnership
BYJU’S was founded in 2006 by Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath as a CAT coaching centre. Today, the edtech decacorn has grown to serve a large student community around the world, offering everything from K-12 and competitive exam preparation to early learning and coding, as well as professional upskilling courses.
In late 2019, the edtech decacorn, which has grown to be India’s most valuable edtech startup with a valuation of over $21 billion, became the official sponsor of the Indian Men’s Cricket team’s jersey. In 2017, OPPO paid INR 1,079 crore for the right to be on the jersey, but after determining that the price was too high and unsustainable, the rights were assigned to BYJU’S.
BYJU’S was to hold the sponsorship rights until March 2022 at the time. The sponsorship, however, was renewed in early March. The BCCI has extended the edtech firm’s sponsorship rights until the ODI World Cup in October-November 2023. The edtech decacorn will pay the Indian cricket board approximately 10% more than the current value under the new agreement.
With the deal extension, BYJU’S will now be able to market its brand on Indian jerseys for a number of upcoming events, including the T20 World Cup in Australia this year and the ODI World Cup next year.
BYJU’S had previously been named as the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) global partner from 2021 to 2023. These collaborations, according to reports, were part of BYJU’s international expansion strategy. The startup is currently operational in seven countries, with plans to expand to additional regions in the near future. BYJU’S has gone on an aggressive acquisition spree in addition to these sports partnerships.
BYJU’S foray into the world of football is unique, not only in terms of previous partnerships but also in comparison to other startups attempting to promote themselves through sporting events.
Byju’s recent raise in funding
Byju’s raised approximately $800 million (around 6000 crore) in a recent funding round led by Sumeru Ventures, Vitruvian Partners, and BlackRock earlier this month. Raveendran, the company’s CEO, backed the investment with a personal investment of $400 million. With this latest round of funding, the edtech company’s valuation has risen to $22 billion.
Furthermore, since the outbreak of the pandemic, Byju’s has been on a fundraising spree, with students across the country signing up for edtech platforms to supplement their learning as schools closed. Moreover, the new funds will be added to the company’s reserves, which it has been using to make acquisitions.
Last year, Byju’s spent more than $2 billion on acquisitions as it sought to expand its geographic footprint and gain a foothold in new verticals such as upskilling.
Byju’s, which claims to have 150 million students worldwide, has recently expanded into India with the opening of brick-and-mortar tuition centres. With the offline venture, the startup hopes to reach a million students.
The company is now preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) in the next 9 to 12 months and is considering listing in either India or the United States.