Delhi-based edtech company Aakash Educational is reportedly in talks to acquire a majority stake in Delhi-based edtech platform Meritnation.
According to VCCircle, Aakash is looking to buy 66% stake, which is currently held by Info Edge (India) Ltd, in Meritnation for INR 50 Cr. Notably, this is the first acquisition deal for Aakash after it has raised investments from private equity firm Blackstone in October 2019.
Aakash Chaudhry, CEO of Aakash said that the acquisition will help the company to accelerate progress in the digital side of the business. Additionally, Chaudhry believes that Meritnation will help Aakash in strengthening offline offerings of Aakash across the classroom centres. “We are continuing to evaluate several acquisition opportunities in the edtech space as part of our digital growth strategy, so that we can make our well-crafted student performance journey more productive,” he added.
Founded in 2007 by IIM-Bangalore alumni Pavan Chauhan and Ritesh Hemrajani, Meritnation’s platform offers online video courses for K-12 students across various educational boards like CBSE, ICSE and State Boards such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Owned by Applect Learning Systems, the platform, which can be also accessed on iOS and Android platforms, also helps students to prepare for competitive entrance examinations such as Joint Engineering Examination (JEE), National Eligibility cum Entrance (NEET), among others.
Inc42 has reached out to Meritnation, but we did not receive any reply till the time of publication.
It is estimated that till now, Noida-based InfoEdge has invested around INR 150 Cr in Meritnation. InfoEdge has been an investor in Meritnation since 2008 and had invested last in 2017.
In India’s edtech space, Meritnation competes with the likes of Byju’s, ExtraMarks, EduIsFun, among others. Recently, Eduisfun had raised $28 Mn (INR 200 Cr) from angel investors such as HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, actor Amitabh Bachchan, Ogilvy Group chief creative officer Piyush Pandey and PwC partner – assurance Russel Parera.
According to DataLabs by Inc42, Indian edtech startups raised approximately $700 Mn in 2018, registering an 85% hike compared to the $375 Mn funding raised in 2017. Interestingly, Byju’s had emerged out as the big gun of edtech startups since the company had received the funding of $230 from the total $375 Mn in 2017.