Byju's acquires Aakash Educational Services for about $1 billion

Byju's acquires Aakash Educational Services for about $1 billion

NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: Byju's has acquired test-prep leader Aakash Educational Services for nearly USD 1 billion (about ?7,300 crore) as India's biggest online education startup looks to build its position in the brick and mortar segment. The acquisition is Byju's biggest and one of the largest ed-tech deals in the world. Post the transaction, Blackstone Group and Aakash Educational Services Ltd (AESL) founders will hold a minority stake in Byju's, which is valued at about USD 13 billion.

Byju's, the most valued ed-tech startup in the country, is backed by marquee investors like Mary Meeker, Yuri Milner, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global and others. It is estimated to have raised over USD 2 billion in funding to date.

According to sources, Byju's is also in talks to raise an additional USD 600-700 million in funding that will help in further growth acceleration. In the past, Byju's had acquired TutorVista and Edurite (from Pearson in 2017) and Osmo in 2019. Last year, the General Atlantic-backed company had bought the coding training platform WhiteHat Jr for USD 300 million. The edu-tech space has seen strong growth globally with the COVID-19 pandemic serving as an inflection point. Many edu-tech companies, including Vedantu and Byju's, have also raised funds in the past few months to accelerate their growth plans. AESL Managing Director Aakash Chaudhry said the transaction with Byju's is part cash and part equity deal.

"It is close to 60-65 per cent cash and the remaining equity...The overall deal value is close to about USD 1 billion," he said during media interactions. AESL and Byju's started exploring a deal about 6-7 months ago. "This will be the largest integration in the education space in India, especially in the startup space...COVID has really opened the gates to online education significantly and going forward, we believe that all kinds of models in education will exist in K-12, test prep and even in higher education," Chaudhry told a news agency.

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