Byju’s buys US app Epic for $500 million

Byju’s acquired Epic, an internet studying platform for youngsters, for $500 million in a cash-and-stock deal as India’s most beneficial web company takes steps to deepen its presence within the US and increase into different English-speaking markets.

The buy will assist the Bengaluru-based on-line training supplier speed up its abroad growth plan in addition to enterprise into a brand new complementary section—on-line studying. In 2019, Byju’s purchased US-based academic gaming startup Osmo.

Byju’s, which has seen a spike in business as colleges shut down bodily lessons due to the pandemic, stated it’s going to make investments $1 billion in North America to assist college students fall in love with studying.

Epic, which sells subscriptions for a digital library for college students beneath 12 years, will quickly be accessible in India and different English-speaking markets corresponding to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

The transaction follows Byju’s buying classroom tutorial chain Aakash Educational Services for $950 million earlier this year. Last year, it purchased coding startup WhiteHat Jr for round $300 million.

Byju’s has made round 10 acquisitions lately. Besides Aakash and Epic, it additionally acquired tutoring agency HashLearn and doubt clearing platform Scholr this year.

Acquiring Epic will assist Byju’s increase its US footprint with entry to greater than 2 million academics and 50 million youngsters in Epic’s present consumer base, which greater than doubled over the past year because of the pandemic.

Epic’s chief govt Suren Markosian and co-founder Kevin Donahue will stay of their roles.

“Reading is a powerful tool to learn. While Epic looks at creating lifelong readers, for us, it’s about making lifelong learners. Both are very complementary. We are yet to meet in person, but we realized there are a lot of synergies, and it’s an expertise we don’t have. There is an opportunity to disrupt almost everything in learning because it’s still early days for what technology can do. There is an opportunity to scale Epic globally and build the platform together,” Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of Byju’s, stated in an interview.

Byju’s lately raised $1.5 billion from UBS Group, Abu Dhabi sovereign fund ADQ, Blackstone Group Lp and others and is at present valued at $16.5 billion.

“We created Epic to make quality books more accessible to kids everywhere and to build a safe place for them to discover the joy and magic of reading. The alignment of our missions and shared passion makes Byju’s the perfect partner as we’re confident this acquisition will ignite excitement for learning around the world,” stated Epic’s Markosian.

Byju’s has been aiming to go deeper into the US, each inorganically in addition to with its personal merchandise. Among areas Raveendran plans to enter are the reskilling and upskilling area.

“The question always is whether to build or acquire. In areas where we don’t have the expertise, we will acquire. In about 3-4 years, our revenue share between India and overseas markets will be 60:40,” he stated.

Byju’s stated the Epic acquisition is not going to solely result in vital investments in expertise, which is able to assist additional customized studying for college students but in addition allow Byju’s to turn out to be a pure a part of America’s studying tradition.

Raveendran stated content material consumption is much more world right this moment, significantly for the Ok-12 age group, and there isn’t a lot must localize, particularly in English-speaking markets corresponding to India.

Byju’s Future School, an internet one-on-one reside studying platform for math and coding, was launched in June, which enabled 11,000 ladies academics assist college students interactively be taught these topics.

Raveendran stated its acquisitions are primarily to allow integration with the respective corporations. This type of integration, for occasion, has seen Osmo scale fourfold because it was acquired, he stated.

Epic has a set of over 40,000 books, audiobooks and movies from greater than 250 of the world’s greatest publishers. It has made entry free to educators, and greater than 2 million academics have signed up for classroom use. The edtech area has seen robust progress globally, together with in India, with the Covid-19 pandemic serving as an inflection level. Many offline lessons went on-line to make sure continuity of training whereas adhering to social distancing norms.

Byju’s is estimated to have raised about $1.5 billion since April final year in a number of tranches. Byju’s is backed by marquee traders, together with General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, Silver Lake and Tiger Global. Launched in 2015, Byju’s has 100 million college students utilizing its providers globally.

(With inputs from PTI)

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