On Thursday, an 18-month-old startup was acquired by BYJU’S in an all-cash deal worth $300 Mn. Even though it is a high value exit, the most interesting part about the WhiteHat Jr acquisition was the claimed $150 Mn annual revenue rate (ARR), which suggests that coding courses are indeed a goldmine for edtech startups.
Founder and CEO Karan Bajaj had told Inc42 in January this year, WhiteHat Jr was growing at 30% – 40% and had clocked about $12 Mn ARR. So what happened in the past five months, that took the revenue run rate from $12 Mn to $150 Mn. The number also attracted some controversy on Twitter as many questioned how WhiteHat Jr got there. Well, here’s the story.
As with many success stories, it’s about choosing the right goals. For WhiteHat, it was the decision to go for a 10x scale in trying circumstances and the launch in the US market which accelerated the overall growth trajectory and opened up the roadmap for future growth in overseas markets.
The startling fact, perhaps, is that much of this journey for WhiteHat was through its barebones MVP (minimum viable product), which was launched in April 2019 and which was its only product till December 2019. After Pranab Dash joined as the CTO in July 2019, WhiteHat Jr began building the current version of its product and launched it in January 2020.