Byju's, India's biggest online education startup, is on its way to acquire Aakash Educational Servies Pvt Ltd for $1 billion, reported Bloomberg on January 12.
Backed by Blackstone Group, Aakash Educational Services runs Aakash Institute, the well-known chain of coaching centres that train students for engineering and medical entrance exams.
According to the report, the deal, one of the largest edtech acquisitions in the world, will be closed in the next two to three months. Aakash's founders, the Chaudhry family will exit completely, while Blackstone will swap a portion of its 37.5 percent equity in Aakash for Byju’s stake.
However, there has been no official confirmation of the same from either Byju's or Aakash Educational Services .
Another feather to its cap
This news definitely is another feather to its many achievements in the recent past. In August 2020, Byju's had announced that it acquired WhiteHat Jr, another start-up in the ed-tech space that focussed on online coding classes for kids.
In the first week of December, news broke out about it landing $200 million from large equity investors like T Rowe Price and BlackRock. With this, the Bangalore-headquartered company is valued at $12 billion.
The India's second most valuable start-up is backed by Mark Zuckerberg's Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Tiger Global Management, and Bond Capital, co-founded by Silicon Valley investor Mary Meeker.
What founder Bjyu Ravindran started as a smartphone app in 2011, is now catering to over 70 million users over 1,700 cities across the country. The app creates educational content for students from kindergarten to the 12th grade, and has been adding over 5 million users a month.
A big reason for such exponential growth of Byju's is the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced users to switch from traditional educational methods to online learning.Byju's leveraged the situation to the best of its capabilities and today it stands as one of the pioneering start-ups in the ed-tech space. The company is targeting doubling its revenues to $1 billion in the current financial year ending in March 2021.