Edtech Unicorn BYJU is in the news once again, and this time for signing a deal with Aakash Educational Services for a whopping $1 billion. According to reports, BYJU`s has acquired brick and mortar education player Aakash Educational Services (AES). Although both parties are yet to make an official announcement regarding the deal, it is one of the largest ed-tech acquisitions in that world.
While online learning startups have flourished, offline tutoring centers are affected badly. Bangaluru based BYJU`s has a valuation of $12 billion and has been on a fund-raising spree due to the increased demand for its online lessons because of the global COVID 19 pandemic.
BYJU`s, which is India`s second most valuable startup is backed by the likes of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg`s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Tiger Global Management & Bond Capital co-founded by Silicon Valley investor Mary Meeker.
While Blackstone will swap 37.5% equity in Aakash for BYJU`s stake, the deal will witness a complete exit of the Aakash`s founders, the Chaudhry family. According to reports, the Chaudhary family may get a cash payout of $300 million.
Backed by Blackstone Group, Aakash Educational Services runs more than 200 brick & mortar centers of Aakash Institutes. While Aakash Educational Services has half-a-million paying students enrolled in its programs, BYJU`s on the other hand has around five million paying students.
When combined, this significant deal would focus on the innovative approach to teach students in secondary education, and prepare them for the entrance examinations.
BYJU`s was founded by Byju Raveendran, who was a former teacher, who also came up with a mobile application for smartphone users in 2011. From kindergarten to the 12th grade, BYJU`s provides lessons in science and mathematics through video games and animations.
Last year in September 2020, BYJU`s announced that around 70 million users logged in from over 1,700 cities all across the country, during fundraising. Out of 70 million, over 4.5 million are paid users. The application has been adding more than 5 million users a month. India`s biggest Edu-tech firm aims to double its revenue to $1 billion in the current financial year ending in March 2021.
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