Edtech startup BYJU’S has acquired TutorVista and Edurite from Pearson. The partnership is focussed on expanding the international reach and creating a diverse product portfolio.
Update [14 March 2018]: The Rise Of India’s Billion-Dollar Club: Edtech Startup BYJU’S Turns Unicorn
The announcement comes just three months after BYJU’s raised additional funding from Belgium-based diversified investment holding company Verlinvest. The funding was raised to boost BYJU’S international expansion and acquisition plans, announced earlier this year.
It was also reported that the company was in talks to acquire US-based gaming and learning startups to expand its footprints internationally. The focus is on companies providing learning solutions for lower grades starting from kindergarten. The ticket size of the potential acquisition(s) was reported to be in the range of $5 Mn-$30 Mn.
TutorVista is an online tutoring brands catering to school and college students in the US and gets millions of visitors every month on its website from across the globe. As mentioned in the press statement, about 70% of the visitors on the website are from the US. TutorVista had acquired Edurite in 2007. Edurite offers a wide range of self-paced learning CDs with content based on a cognitive learning approach.
Pearson had acquired 17% stake in TutorVista from K Ganesh and Meena Ganesh (Growthstory) in 2009. Later in 2011, Pearson further acquired 59% stake in the company for INR 577 Cr. and got the controlling stake of 80% post that.
Commenting on this acquisition, Byju Raveendran, founder & CEO, BYJU’S said, “This partnership will enhance our product offerings and give us access in some of the new markets when we launch our international products. We are excited to work with the talented and experienced team who will come on board as a part of this acquisition.”
“With increased brand awareness, our core offering – BYJU’S The Learning App – has witnessed massive adoption amongst students across grades (classes 4-12). We strongly believe that a product like ours can change the way students learn all across the world. Today, with a wider bandwidth, we have started creating similar products for the international markets that further boost our reach as well as product portfolio,” Byju further added.
Deepak Mehrotra, Managing Director of Pearson India said, “Edurite and TutorVista are pioneer brands in their respective spaces and enjoy great customer goodwill. We are pleased that a leading online education company in India sees value in the Edurite and TutorVista businesses, brands and employees. We hope that the businesses and employees thrive under the new ownership and wish them all the very best.”
Founded in 2011 by Byju Raveendran, BYJU’s offers learning programmes for class 4-12 & test preparation for JEE, AIPMT, CAT, IAS, GRE, & GMAT. It launched BYJU’s–The Learning App in 2015. With a reported 8 Mn users and 400K annual paid subscribers, BYJU’S creates personalised learning programmes for individual students based on their proficiency levels and capabilities which help them learn at their own pace and style.
Earlier, in December 2016, BYJU’s raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the investment firm International Financial Corporation (IFC). Prior to that, in September 2016, BYJU’s raised $50 Mn funding led by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), which was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan, along with Sequoia Capital. This investment came in close after Sequoia India and Sofina infused $75 Mn in the company, in March 2016.
Edtech in India
With the growing smartphone users, Internet penetration, more than 900 startups in edtech have managed to come up in the past two years.
According to a recent report by Google, KPMG, online education in India will see approximately 8x growth in the next five years and will have a significant impact on the market. The report mentioned that edtech market in India has a potential to touch $1.96 Bn by 2021 from where it stands now i.e. $247 Mn.
As per an Inc42 DataLabs report, around 125 Startups were funded between 2014 and 2016, garnering a total investment of $256 Mn, an average year-on-year growth of 49% in deals and 149% in total funding. Also, by Q1 2017, about $21.34 Mn (disclosed funds) was infused in the Indian edtech space across 11 deals. However, still, the average ticket size of funding in edtech is comparatively less than other major sectors such as ecommerce.
Other players in the edtech space in India include – Embibe, Toppr, Avagmah, iProf, Meritnation, Simplilearn, among others. Let’s see how the acquisition of TutorVista and Edurite from Pearson will help BYJU’s enhance its product offerings and the launch of its international products.