January 14, 2021
TED NewsDesk, Banglore: One of the premiered ventures for online education, BYJU’S signed contract of $1 billion to gain conventional test prep flagbearer Aakash Educational Services Ltd. As per a source (name hidden due to privacy concern), this will be the world’s largest EdTech investment so far, which will come to an end in succeeding 2-3 months. Aakash Educational Services has its headquarters in New Delhi.
BYJU’S, which currently has its headquarters in Banglore, costs $12 billion. The online startups hugely benefitted from the transition from offline to online mode amid pandemic. The closure of schools and coaching centres since March 2020 led to the downfall of the inputs involved in offline learning. The startup is raising charity with the increase in the demands for its online lessons amid COVID-19.
Firms like Tiger Global Management, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Bond Capital led their support to the country’s second-most valuable startup. Chan Zuckerberg is an initiative developed by the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg. Bond Capital is an international technology investment company, co-founded by the investor of Silicon Valley Mary Meeker.
One of the well-known coaching institutes for medical and engineering preparations, Aakash Institute is run by Aakash Educational Services supported by Blackstone Group. It has almost 200 physically owned buildings and several educators who help the students securing admissions in India’s reputed institutions. It caters over 2.5 lakh students as per its official website.
As per the new deal signed by BYJU’S, the founders of Aakash (the Chaudhary family) will no more be a stakeholder. Blackstone will exchange a portion of its 37.5% share in Aakash for the equity in BYJU’S. Both the spokesperson of BYJU’S and Mr Aakash Chaudhary, Chief Executive Officer of Aakash Educational Services, are yet to address the issue.
BYJU’S made the fundraising announcement in September 2020 following which it also disclosed that over 70 million users from across 1700 cities in the country are its current users. Out of these 70 million users who logged in, 4.5 million belong to the paid user category.
Byju Raveendran, the founder of BYJU’S, is a former teacher and the son of tutors. He developed the smartphone app in 2011. The app is useful for students of all ages, right from those in kindergarten to the ones in class 12th. It has games and video animations to provide lessons in maths and science. There are almost 250 million Indian students in the K-12 grades. Every month the app witnesses a rise in its users by 5 million. The firm is looking forward to increasing its income to $1 billion in the ongoing financial year closing in March 2021.
Source: Times of India