World’s largest edtech firm Byju’s is investing even more as it acquired Great Learning for $600 mn in a cash-and-stock deal. It has also acquired Epic for $500 mn. Byju’s spent close to $1bn to acquire Aakash Institute and is now looking to buy Toppr for a sum of $150 mn. In the last six months, the edtech startup has spent nearly $2bn over these acquisitions. Around $1 bn is still left with the company allocated for acquisitions.
The Chinese govt wants its $100 bn edtech sector to go non-profit. The edtech companies have been barred from going public, taking foreign capital, or issuing stocks if already public. With burdening parents with extensive fees and pressuring students, the edtech sector has also been accused of causing social inequalities. On March 31st, the Chinese ministry made it compulsory that all online tutoring should end no later than 9 p.m.
upGrad has acquired video-enabled solutions provider Impartus and has committed Rs 150 cr funds for the buyout and growth. Impartus will be rebranded as ‘upGrad Campus’ and have B2C and B2B verticals, as it aims to close FY22 with Rs 85 cr of revenue. Founders Amit Mahensaria, Alok Choudhary and Manish Kumar will run the business independently. Impartus has 280 higher education institutes, 50,000 teachers, and 6 lakh learners on board.
Bengaluru-based Edtech startup WizKlub has appointed Pankaj Bande as CTO to lead the product design, learning, and development Team. He brings with him 20 years of professional experience and has worked with Wipro and Cognizant in the past. Bande has quality experience in conversational AI, IoT, Blockchain, Mobile Robotics, hardware, etc. In his last assignment, he served Wipro as Senior Architect for Conversation IoT Solutions for BFSI, Healthcare, Auto sectors.
upGrad claimed to have crossed the milestone of ₹100 cr monthly revenue and hit an Annual Revenue Run Rate of ₹1,200 cr. The startup now aims a 25% revenue growth during the quarter ending in June. The edtech startup registered a 100% revenue growth in 2020, while offerings jumped 3x along with garnering 1 mn “learners across 50+ countries.” It had registered 10 mn hrs of learning experiences and acquired three companies in 2020.
Edtech unicorn Unacademy has acquired NeoStencil, a test preparation platform focused on government jobs, making it its fifth acquisition of 2020. Code Chef, K-12 learning platform Mastree, PrepLadder and Coursavy were the other purchases of Unacademy of the year. The NeoStencil acquisition will strengthen Unacademy’s pole position in the test preparation segment and increase presence in Tier II and III cities.
Unacademy has raised undisclosed funds (between $75 mn to $100 mn in size) from Tiger Global and Dragoneer Investment valuing the startup at around $2 bn, up from about $500 mn in Feb this year. Unacademy helps students prepare for competitive exams to get into college, or those pursuing graduate-level courses. The platform has over 47,000 educators who conduct over 1.5 lakh live classes each month in 5000 cities to generate a watch time of 2 bn minutes.
Edtech platform upGrad has acquired Bengaluru-based The Date Academy having 57 coaching centres in India for an undisclosed amount. upGrad will invest Rs 100 cr into TGA to develop 20,000 hrs of content in multiple languages and provide access to at least 10 lakh test applicants, annually. The acquisition said to be first among many M&A planned by upGrad, marks its entry into the test preparation market. TGA will continue to be separate brand run by its Founder and CEO Ritesh.
US-based edtech unicorns expect India to be their largest user bases outside the states. These platforms focus on professional courses and soft skills programs. For Udemy India has become the second-largest market with 9.8 mn learners after U.S, that has 14 mn learners. Coursera has added 5 mn learners in the past 10 months compared to 1.4 mn in 2019. Udacity has tied up with an IT training provider to offer its programs to over 500 tech companies including HP, IBM.