Highest valued Indian startup BYJU’S, today announced the acquisition of Singapore headquartered Great Learning, a global player in the professional and higher education segment in a transaction valued at $600 Mn comprising cash, stock and earnout.
A previous story by Inc42 on July 24, had stated that BYJU’s has also acquired online coaching platform Toppr as part of the $600 Mn deal, however, there has been no official announcement regarding the same.
The edtech giant has earmarked another $400 Mn of investment into this segment towards accelerating Great Learning’s growth. The acquisition marks BYJU’S push into the professional upskilling and life-long learning space globally with a total commitment of $1Bn, expanding its offerings beyond the K12 and test prep segments, and further accelerating the company’s growth plans.
This partnership brings together BYJU’S technology and content expertise with Great Learning’s sought-after professional courses at a significant time when the pandemic has forced professionals to seek upskilling globally.
Founded in 2013, Great learning, a boot-strapped company, has delivered over 60 million hours of impactful learning to 1.5 million learners from over 170 countries. It offers a curated network of 2800+ industry expert mentors to deliver learning outcomes and works with more than 500 corporate partners for their upskilling and talent needs.
Great Learning will continue to operate as an independent unit under the BYJU’S group under the leadership of its founder and CEO, Mohan Lakhamraju and cofounders, Hari Nair and Arjun Nair. With this investment, Great Learning will accelerate its organic and inorganic growth in India and across global markets and expand its high-quality, transformational offerings to learners everywhere.
Byju Raveendran, founder, and CEO, BYJU’S said, “Empowering learners with the right futuristic skills forms a fundamental part of our vision. Great Learning is a globally recognized and reputed professional education company and this partnership expands our reach into this new segment. We are united in our mission to provide professionals with high-quality and industry-relevant learning programs in this competitive global economy. With our combined strength, we aim to become a global market leader in this segment.”
“ Together with BYJU’S, we will be able to accelerate our progress towards this goal and meet the growing need for upskilling both in India and around the world. Further, as higher education moves online, we will leverage our joint strengths in technology, content, pedagogy and instructors to create unparalleled learning opportunities at affordable prices for everyone,” said Lakhamraju.
BYJU’S Acquisition Spree
For BYJU’S, this acquisition reiterates the company’s focus on creating impactful learning products for students by adding more verticals, subjects, and languages to the same platform.
On Wednesday (July 21) BYJU’S acquired US based reading platform Epic for a record deal of $500 Mn. According to BYJU’s this acquisition will help the startup to make its foothold strong in the US, as Epic has over 2 Mn teachers and 50 Mn students on board. BYJU’S will also invest $1 Bn in North America to accelerate its vision of helping students fall in love with learning.
Launched by Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath in 2015, Bengaluru-based BYJU’S today boasts of having 100 Mn students on its platform backed by marquee investors such as General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, Silver Lake, Tiger Global, among others. The company last raised $50 Mn in its Series F round last month led by IIFL’s private equity fund and Maitri edtech.
BYJU’S has banked on big acquisitions to get more control on the edtech market in India. Last August, it had acquired coding for kids startup WhiteHat Jr in August 2020 for $300 Mn. This year, the company acquired test prep giant Aakash Educational Services for $1 Bn, which has over 200 physical test prep coaching centres.
The company boasts of over 6.5 Mn annual paid subscriptions, and an annual renewal rate of 86 with its personalised learning programs. In just 6 months during the lockdown, BYJU’S has added 45 million new students to its platform. BYJU’S doubled its valuation last year, from $6 Bn to $12 Bn in less than 12 months, which included multiple acquisitions. At present BYJU’s is the most valued startup with a valuation of $16.5 Bn.