Edtech platform Byju’s is already the biggest and most valuable startup in India, but that does not mean that it plans on stopping its acquisition spree anytime soon. And, remaining true to this spirit, the industry giant has acquired upskilling platform Great Learning in a cash and stock deal, in quick succession after its acquisition of after-school learning and doubts platform Toppr.
With these deals, Byju’s has acquired 6 companies in 2021.
Great Learning has been acquired for a sum of $600 million, as per the regulatory filings by Byju’s.
The newest takeover is aimed towards helping Byju’s further expand its services beyond K12 (kindergarten to grade 12) and test prep, and venture in to the world of professional upskilling, in a bid to compete with other companies like UpGrad and Eruditus.
With this new acquisition, Byju’s has apparently allotted as many as 29,324 Series F preference shares to existing stakeholders of the Gurugram-based startup, which a valued at nearly $100 million. Matrix Benefit Fund received shares worth ₹50.92 crore, while LMK Holdings Ltd. was assigned ₹682.2 crore worth of shares, in return for letting go of their shares at Great Learning.
Additionally, the startup also plans to invest $400 million into this sector, in a bid to expand its services globally, while also venturing into other business avenues. This move comes as CEO Byju Raveendran plans to take his company public in the next year or so. It is not clear, however, where the IPO will actually take place, even though Raveendran says they are open to listing their shares in both, India and the US.
This new deal could prove to be rather beneficial, as Great Learning already has forged partnerships with top-tier institutions like MIT, IIT Bombay, Stanford, National University of Singapore, and Great Lakes Institute of Management. It offers a wide range of specialized programmes in different fields, from Business Analytics, and Machine Learning, to Cyber Security, Data Science, and even Digital Marketing. So far, the company claims, as many as 1.5 million professionals and students from 170 nations have benefitted from its online and classroom teaching methodologies.
However, Byju’s does not want to just pour money into new verticals, but also expand existing functions and strengthen its roots. For that, the company has also acquired Toppr, for about $150Mn. The acquisition will help the company maintain its spot at the top of the K-12 learning segment, in the face of tough competition from the likes of Unacademy and Vedantu.
The company will offer 17,036 Series F preference shares worth almost $59Mn to Toppr’s existing shareholders including – Helion Venture Partners, Eight Roads, Alteria Capital, Ramakant Sharma – founder of Livspace; Kaizen PE, FH Learn LLP, and Learn 2 Holdings Ltd.
Just last week, Byju’s also acquired US-headquartered reading platform Epic in a $500 million bid, while also announcing an investment worth $1 billion in its North American Market. Previously, Osmo and WhiteHat Jr. had also come under Byju’s wing.