An 18-year-old contestant left Shark Tank judges stunned when he announced his ambition of one day buying the billion-dollar ed-tech company Byju's.
Shreyaan Daga from Mumbai is the co-founder of OnlineLiveLearning (OLL), a platform that offers classes in diverse fields -- communication, computers, art and dance, among others.
On a recent episode of Shark Tank India, he told judges his portal earned over Rs 2 crore in revenue in two years.
He founded the platform when he was just 16, borrowing Rs 2 lakh from his father and dropping out of school to focus on entrepreneurship.
Sugar Cosmetics CEO Vineeta Singh, who is one of the judges, asked Daga if he would sell his company to the likes of Byju's and Unacademy.
The youngster said he wouldn't abandon his venture till he gets 1 billion learners on his platform
Then, he revealed his bigger ambitions.
"One the milestones (I want to get to) is to buy Byju's or Unacademy," Daga said, drawing stunned reactions from judges.
While the entrepreneur didn't detail how he planned to do that, his presentation and answers on the Shark Tank stage left the judges impressed.
"The competition is gradually collapsing," Daga said. "At this moment, not a lot of funds are available in the market."
"He is very sharp," Lenskart's Peyush Bansal said in response.
In the end, Bansal and Singh decided to invest in his venture.
Byju's has been in the news for financial irregularities and mass layoffs. It started cutting costs aggressively after a net loss of Rs 4,589 crore in FY21 (2020-21), the largest that any Indian startup experienced that year.
The startup laid off 2,500 employees in 2022 and recently announced it will sack 1,000 to 1,200 more.
This was despite CEO Byju Raveendran's assurances that no more employees will be laid off after the 2022 job cuts.
“Byju’s will prioritise rehiring the laid-off employees as it restructures and hires again for ‘newly created relevant roles," he had told his team in October.
Byju's lays off at least 1,000 more employees as sales falter, funding winter worsens