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Byju’s-owned Great Learning buys Northwest Executive Education for $100 million

Northwest Executive Edcuation offers long format comprehensive programs by global educational institutions including MIT, UC Berkeley, Yale, UCLA, University of Chicago, National University of Singapore, among others.

May 11, 2022 / 12:58 PM IST
Byju's founder Byju Raveendran.

Byju's founder Byju Raveendran.

Byju’s-owned upskilling platform Great Learning on May 11 officially announced the acquisition of Singapore-based Northwest Executive Education for a $100 million cash and stock deal.

Sources privy to the development had confirmed the acquisition to  Moneycontrol on May 10 saying that it will help Byju’s strengthen its higher education vertical. 

In a virtual interaction with Moneycontrol, Mohan Lakhamraju, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Great Learning, and Mohit Jain and Tamhant Jain, Founders of Northwest Executive Education, said that the acquisition will lead to cost optimisation for the two bootstrapped companies along with product synergies.

“Great Learning’s focus has largely been on early-to-mid career professionals, and of course, in the last few years we've also added a student segment as for the college students segment we have our degree programs and other things. But our focus has largely been on early-to-mid career professionals, whereas Northwest’s focus has been on senior professionals and that is a segment that we have not addressed in the past,” said Lakhamraju.

“So this (acquisition), we see as the best way for us to bridge that gap and now we will actually have something, if you also consider Byju’s, then there is something from kindergarten to all the way till a person retires,” Lakhamraju added.

The three founders also said that the acquisition will not lead to any job cuts. Northwest currently has 50 employees, while Great Learning has over 2,000 employees.

Founded in 2015, Northwest Executive Edcuation offers long format comprehensive programs by global educational institutions including MIT, UC Berkeley, Yale, UCLA, University of Chicago, National University of Singapore, among others. The company said it is expanding across the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The company focuses on offering programs in management, leadership, technology, healthcare, innovation and other in-demand executive learning areas, it said, adding that it has enrolled participants from over 50 countries across its programs portfolio. Northwest also claimed that it has achieved around 99% completion rate since its inception.

Post the acquisition, Northwest will continue to operate as an independent organization under the leadership of its co-founders, Mohit Jain, Tamhant Jain and Maitreyi Singhvi, the company said. Northwest and Great Learning would leverage synergies to expand the portfolio of offerings and cater to learners across India, Asia, US, Latin America and Europe in blended and online learning formats, Northwest said.

Byju’s has been strengthening its higher education vertical over the last two years, primarily with acquisitions. It had acquired Great Learning in 2021 to expand its offerings beyond the K-12 (kindergarten to class 12) and test prep segments. Founded in 2013, Great Learning claims to have delivered over 85 million hours of learning to four million learners from more than 170 countries. The upskilling platform said it leverages a network of over 4,700 industry experts and mentors and works with more than 6,200 corporate partners for their upskilling and talent needs. 

Great Learning said it collaborates with global universities including Stanford University, MIT Professional Education, Wharton Online, The University of Texas at Austin, Northwestern University, National University of Singapore (NUS), Deakin University, IIT Madras, IIT Roorkee, IIIT Hyderabad, IIIT Delhi, Great Lakes Institute of Management among others to offer Degree, Diploma and Certificate programs. Earlier this year, Great Learning had acquired campus recruitment platform Superset.
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Nikhil Patwardhan