Adding to its acquisition spree this year, edtech giant BYJU’S has acquired Bengaluru based computer vision and augmented reality (AR) startup Whodat. This is the fifth major acquisition for BYJU’S this year, following the mega deals for Aakash Educational Services, Great Learning, Toppr and US-based Epic.
While full terms of the deal remain unknown, the companies have confirmed that the entire Whodat team and their proprietary computer vision platform have been acquired to accelerate product development in key areas.
Founded in 2013 by Sriram Ganesh and Kaushik Das, Whodat has built an AR platform based on computer vision which lets developers build apps that require location accuracy beyond the capabilities of GPS alone. The technology initially targeted augmented reality apps, but is currently also used to power applications in mobility and robotics. Whodat is backed by Ideaspring Capital which led a INR 3.6 Cr seed round in the startup.
For BYJU’S, this acquisition is in line with the company’s focus on creating impactful learning products for students by adding more verticals, subjects, and languages to its diverse platform.
The company has banked on big acquisitions since 2019 to get more control on the edtech market in India. It had acquired coding for kids startup WhiteHat Jr in August 2020 for $300 Mn. At present BYJU’s is the highest valued Indian startup with a valuation of $16.5 Bn.
This year, the company also acquired test prep giant Aakash Educational Services for $1 Bn, which has over 200 physical test prep coaching centres in India. Last month, BYJU’S acquired skilling and higher education platform Great Learning in a $600 Mn cash, stock and earnout deal. The edtech giant also acquired online coaching platform Toppr for $150 Mn in July this year.
Outside India, BYJU’S acquired US based reading platform Epic for a record deal of $500 Mn to gain a stronger foothold in the US market.
The company boasts of over 6.5 Mn annual paid subscriptions, and an annual renewal rate of 86%. Between April and September last year, BYJU’S has added 45 Mn new students to its platform.
Like BYJU’s, Indian edtech companies have banked on acquisitions to grow their customer base and service portfolio. Unacademy and upGrad have also turned to acquisitions to gain new users and open up more revenue streams. For instance, Unacademy is sweeping up smaller players in the Indian edtech and skill development space, as well as non-edtech domains such as video streaming platform Rheo TV. Mumbai-based upGrad acquired KnowledgeHut earlier this week to make a bigger dent in international markets and venture into the lucrative short-term skilling courses market.