The BYJU'S learning app
The BYJU'S learning app | Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg
Text Size:

Bengaluru: India’s biggest online-education startup Byju’s has signed a deal to acquire brick & mortar test prep leader Aakash Educational Services Ltd. for $1 billion, according to a person with knowledge of the talks.

The deal for what will be one of the largest edtech acquisitions in the world should close in the next two or three months, said the person, who didn’t want to be identified as the information is private.

Bangalore-headquartered Byju’s is valued at $12 billion and has been on a fund-raising spree as the pandemic has sent demand for its online lessons soaring. India’s second-most valuable startup is backed by the likes of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Tiger Global Management and Bond Capital, co-founded by Silicon Valley investor Mary Meeker.

A Byju’s spokeswoman declined to comment, while emails and calls to New Delhi-based Aakash Educational Services and its Chief Executive Officer Aakash Chaudhry did not elicit a response.

Blackstone Group-backed Aakash Educational Services runs Aakash Institute, which has over 200 brick and mortar centers and tutors students to gain entry into the country’s elite engineering and medical schools. Its student count is over 250,000, according to its website.

While online learning startups have thrived, offline tutoring centers have been badly hit by the pandemic, which has closed schools and tutoring centers since March last year.

In the deal with Byju’s, Aakash’s founders, the Chaudhry family, will exit completely, while Blackstone will swap a portion of its 37.5% equity in Aakash for Byju’s stake, said the person.

Byju’s was founded by Byju Raveendran, a former teacher and the son of educators, who conceived the smartphone app in 2011. The app caters to students from kindergarten to the 12th grade, and has been adding over 5 million users a month. India has about 250 million students in the K-12 grades. The app provides lessons in maths and science through video animations and games.

More than 70 million users logged in in from over 1,700 cities around the country, Byju’s said last September when it announced a fund raise. Of these, over 4.5 million are paid users. It’s targeting doubling its revenues to $1 billion in the current financial year ending in March 2021.- Bloomberg


Also read: Pushy Indian parents now have a new goal for six-year-olds — coding


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

11 Comments Share Your Views

11 COMMENTS

    • How the hell you said that, Mein bujus se padha tha, aur currently studying in IIT DELHI Computers! Byjus ki teaching bohot acchi hoti hai….

  1. Pls some1 or some govt audit entity, chck the books & real physical members(70 million!) of BYJUs.
    Majority of these are fake. The new companies which BYJUs is acquiring thru funding of outsiders, are in fact companies which have been created by BYJUs themselves. They r deceiving all their investors and making themselves rich by buying their own assets thru out of India funds. This is a big scam going on where the fmly nd friends of BYJUs owners r making free money.

  2. Actually byjus app is most suitable at first introduced.after Stable for business he totally changed the pattern.he focus only depend on turnover…now its not suitable to poor family..its wost app..don’t try to learn and spend more money..

  3. Dear sir/man,
    I have deposited in the account of byjus to take course for class 7 and 8 bt some reasons I want to refund it. I have given call many times to customer care and I sent many emails with document but no response was found .my counsellors name is mr. Subir pal.pls help me to refund it. I am troubled for one and half months .

    • Dear Arushi,
      First you should go through the Terms and conditions signed/accepted at the time of procurement of package. If refund policy has not been elicited in T&C,sorry to say but you can never get your refund.
      T&C is very important document but due to ignorance people take it lightly.
      Hope it helps!!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here