Bengaluru: AEON Learning Pvt. Ltd, which owns education technology platform Avagmah, Thursday said it has bought Bengaluru-based education start-up Acadgild for $10 million in an all-stock deal.

Avagmah is a start-up focused on online degrees and skill development programmes. It claims to have 22,000 students across 66 countries, and has partnerships with more than seven institutes and universities.

Acadgild offers skill-based technology courses in big data, deep learning and UI/UX design web development, among others. It works with businesses to offer around 35 skill development courses. Vikalp Jain, co-founder of Acadgild, will join AEON Learning as its new president, AEON Learning said in a statement.

Acadgild had raised initial investment from venture capital firm Jupiter Capital and K. Ganesh of GrowthStory. It works with companies like General Electric, Capgemini, Cognizant Technology Solutions, and Oracle Corporation.

“This acquisition of Acadgild will help us target much larger market segments including short-term courses for professionals. Each of the categories we are already catering to, will be beefed up with additional resources coming in from the Acadgild acquisition. Both companies will continue to function as independent brands," Karthik K.S., founder and chief executive officer of AEON Learning, said in an interview.

Currently, around half of AEON Learning’s online students come from Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities like Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR, Karthik added. The company has raised $6.5 million till date and expects to reach a student base of over 100,000 in the next five years.

“There 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 re-skilling needs of working professionals and will help us grow and scale faster than ever," Jain of Acadgild said in a statement.

According to a KPMG-Google report released in May, the online higher education market is expected to touch $1.96 billion by 2021. Re-skilling and online certification courses currently account for a majority (38%) of the online higher education market, the report added. There has also been a surge in investments in the online education sector, with online skill training start-ups shifting focus from a university-based curriculum to a more industry-oriented training approach.

In the school and entrance exams space, Bengaluru-based Unacademy, which offers a platform for educators to share learning content, raised $11.5 million from Sequoia and SAIF Partners in September. Byju’s Learning also raised an undisclosed funding from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd in July, with total fund raise reaching $200 million.

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