Bengaluru-based edtech firm AEON Learning has acquired Acadgild in an all-stock deal worth $10 Mn. Post the deal completion, Vikalp Jain, co-founder of Acadgild will join AEON Learning as President. With this acquisition, AEON Learning aims to tap into the fast-growing online higher education market, which is pegged to be a $1.96 Bn industry by 2021 as per a latest KPMG-Google report. AEON Learning And Acadgild: Where The Startups Synergies Got Matched AEON Learning is focused on providing online degree programmes and skill development courses to universities through its platform Avagmah. The startup reaches out to 22,000 students across 66 countries and partners with over seven institutes and universities and over 36 corporates across the globe. AEON Learning till date has raised a cumulative funding of $6.5 Mn and expects to reach a student base of over 100,000 in five years time. In words of Karthik KS, Founder and CEO of AEON Learning, Acadgild\u2019s leadership and strengths in delivering cutting-edge short-term IT skills complement Avagmah\u2019s leadership in supporting universities in offering their long-term courses using technology. \u201cThis acquisition, thus, offers us a tremendous opportunity to shape the future of the global workforce to produce readily deployable skilled talent,\u201d he added. Vikalp further stated, \u201cThere are clear synergies in the business processes and target markets of both Avagmah and Acadgild and this acquisition puts us in a formidable position to address both education and reskilling needs of working professionals and will help us grow and scale faster than ever\u201d Acadgild: The Journey So Far Launched in 2015, Acadgild is an online edtech startup that offers high-end tech skills to mid-career IT professionals. It is the brainchild of Vikalp Jain, an IIT Bombay graduate and Vinod Dham, the inventor of the Pentium chip and a serial entrepreneur in his own right. Within the first few months of its launch, Acadgild raised $2.2 Mn in funding from marquee investors \u2013 Jupiter Capital, former CEO and Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, and Zodius\u2019 Neeraj Bhargava. The startup takes a differentiated approach and offers a hybrid model that combines live classes and an online platform for learning. Acadgild offers programmes on leading-edge technology skills with hands-on mentorship from industry experts. It works with various corporates offering over 35 industry ready skill development courses, some of them being Android programming, analytics, big data and more. Keeping its focus on the IT sector in the three metros where the sector is most popular \u2014 Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru \u2014 it first launched Android programming courses, particularly Android Development, that still remains one of the most popular courses on the platform. Other startups operational in this space are Coursera, Khan Academy, DoSelect\u2019s \u2018DoSelect for Developers\u2019, CodeHack Bloc.io and General Assembly, and more. As per an Inc42 Data Labs report, in H1 2017, over 23 deals took place with $99 Mn being invested in the edtech sector. According to a recent report by Google and KPMG, online education in India will see approximately 8x growth in the next five years. Also, it is expected that the paid user base will grow 6X from 1.6 Mn users in 2016 to 9.6 Mn users in 2021. This will have a significant impact on the existing edtech market that has a potential to touch $1.96 Bn by 2021 from where it stands now i.e. $247 Mn. With this consolidation, how well these two edtech firms will be able to capitalise on this opportunity remains to be seen.