In a bid to expand its offerings, edtech unicorn BYJU’s has acquired Mumbai-based Whitehat Jr. for $300 Mn.
Founded in 2018 by ex-Discovery Networks CEO, Karan Bajaj, WhiteHat Jr is a live online one-to-one coding platform that teaches the principles of coding—sequence, structure, logic, commands and algorithmic thinking – to young kids, who don’t usually get this training in the formal education system.
The company claims to have a revenue run rate of $150 Mn and has raised $11 Mn from investors like Nexus Venture Partners, Omidyar Network India and Owl Ventures. Owl Ventures is also an investor in BYJU’s.
“Empowering children with the right future skills has always been part of our vision at BYJU’S and coding fits well into this. WhiteHat Jr’s coding product capabilities, combined with our pedagogy, expertise and scale, will help expand our learning offerings for school students,” Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO, BYJU’S said.
After launching their courses in the US in February earlier this year, Whitehat Jr claims to be growing at more than 100% MoM in the US. It also recently announced plans to expand to other global markets like Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand after the stellar growth in the US for its one-to-one online coding classes.
After the acquisition, BYJU’S will make significant investments in WhiteHat Jr’s technology platform, product innovation, while expanding the teacher base to cater to demand from new markets. WhiteHat Jr. Founder, Karan Bajaj will continue to lead and scale this business in India and the US.
The acquisition comes amidst the Indian Government’s push for skills such as coding from early classes with the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
Launched in 2015, BYJU’S is the world’s most valued private edtech startup with 64 Mn students using its platforms. The company claims to have 4.2 Mn annual paid subscriptions and an annual renewal rate of 85%. It doubled its revenue from INR 1430 Cr to INR 2800 Cr in FY 19-20, according to the official statement.
Since the lockdown, it has on-boarded 15 Mn new students and reported INR 500 Cr in revenue last month alone. In June, it launched a comprehensive online tutoring programme, BYJU’S Classes, to offer personalised after school tuition classes.
Valued at $10.5 Bn, BYJU’s has raised closed to $1.5 Bn in funding to date from investors like BOND Capital, General Atlantic, Tiger Global, Tencent, Naspers, Sequoia, Qatar Investment Authority, and Canada’s Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) among others.
Whitehat Jr. is BYJU’s fifth acquisition. Last year, the edtech unicorn had acquired Palo Alto based Osmo for $120 Mn. Its other acquisitions include — Math Adventures, Tutorvista and Vidyartha. According to recent reports, BYJU’s is also in talks with Doubtnut for a $150 Mn all-cash transaction.
According to DataLabs, Indian edtech startups have raised a total funding of $2 Bn across 353 deals between 2014-H1 2020 and over 43 edtech startups have got acquired. From $247 Mn in 2017, the opportunity in India’s online education market is estimated to soar to $2 Bn in 2021, according to DataLabs by Inc42+’s Edtech Opportunity Report.