S Chand said it has agreed to acquire a minority stake in ixamBee along with its subsidiaries
ixamBee helps students prepare for job related exams, with a special focus on government jobs
The startup will use the fresh funds for expansion by launching new courses, and content creation, marketing and technology expenses, among others
Publishing house S Chand and Company has strengthened its edtech portfolio by picking up a minority stake in government exams-focused startup AToZLearn Edutech, which operates ixamBee.
The deal is part of a larger fundraise which included investments from directors and key managerial personnel of S Chand, Mukesh Sharma Family Trust, Inflection Point Ventures (IPV), Firstport Capital, Keiretsu Forum, and others.
The fresh funds will be used to fuel expansion through launch of new courses, creation of new content, and to shore up marketing and technology verticals, among others.
Founded in 2016 by Chandraprakash Joshi, Arunima Sinha and Sandeep Singh, ixamBee helps students prepare for government exams. Catering largely to rural and semi-urban students, the platform provides focused learning materials such as mock tests, online test series, among others.
ixamBee is backed by Mumbai Angels Network, JITO Angel Network, MakeMyTrip cofounder Keyur Joshi, among others. It has raised nearly $1.3 Mn in funding to date.
Commenting on the acquisition, S Chand Group MD Himanshu Gupta said, “The focus on providing quality and affordable learning to students in semi-urban and rural areas,… We find a lot of synergies with ixamBee on quality content development, marketing and meeting the aspiration of future workforce of the country.”
S Chand’s Expanding Edtech Portfolio
The acquisition of the stake in ixamBee adds to S Chand’s burgeoning edtech portfolio. It has invested in multiple edtech startups like Smartivity, Testbook, Ignitor, and Flipclass. WIth years of experience in the Indian education sector, S Chand has set its eyes on transforming itself as a leading content service provider.
Curiously, the publishing company and its directors divested their stakes in online learning platform iNeuron last year by selling it to edtech unicorn PhysicsWallah.
The latest development comes at a time when the edtech segment in the country is struggling due to the ongoing funding winter and the slowdown in the business following reopening of schools and educational institutions after the pandemic. This has forced edtech startups to take cost-cutting measures, including laying off employees.
As per Inc42’s layoff tracker, edtech platforms, including unicorns like BYJU’S, Vedantu and Unacademy, have fired over 7,000 employees since 2022. Besides, many edtech platforms like Crejo.Fun, Udayy, and Qin1 have also wound up operations amid a funding crunch and mounting losses.
This has also led to quite a few mergers and acquisitions in the sector. Recently, edtech platform Toprankers acquired career guidance platform ProBano. Last month, LEAD completed the acquisition of London Stock Exchange-listed education group Pearson’s K-12 learning business in India.