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Business News/ Companies / Start-ups/  Byju’s makes $200 mn bet on offline, hybrid tuition classes
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Byju’s makes $200 mn bet on offline, hybrid tuition classes

The company hopes to enrol one million students into the programme over the next two years and launch 500 such tuition centres across 200 cities this year

Byju’s is planning 500 tuition centres this year.bloombergPremium
Byju’s is planning 500 tuition centres this year.bloomberg

Byju’s, the world’s most-valued online tutoring startup operated by Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, has made forays into offline tuition classes with the launch of Byju’s Tuition Centre, the company said on Wednesday.

The edtech startup will invest as much as $200 million to operate and expand Byju’s Tuition Centre over the next 12 to 18 months, Mrinal Mohit, chief operating officer, Byju’s, told VCCircle in a virtual interaction. The company hopes to enrol one million students into the programme over the next two years and launch 500 such tuition centres across 200 cities this year. Byju’s hopes to create more than 10,000 jobs across the country with Byju’s Tuition Centre.

The tuition centres will be leased and developed by Byju’s and have technology-enabled features, according to Mohit. Each tuition centre will have the capacity to accommodate 2,000 to 4,000 students, he said. The company recently hired Himanshu Bajaj, former head of Asia consumer and retail practice, Kearney, a global consultancy firm, to lead Byju’s Tuition Centre. The company had launched a pilot programme last year by opening 80 centres across the country, to which it received strong feedback, Mohit said.

Byju’s will leverage the technology infrastructure of the many companies that it has acquired to date, according to Mohit. It acquired 10 companies since 2020, including Aakash Educational Services in April last year for nearly $1 billion. This is its biggest acquisition till date.

“We acquired a company last year that specializes in digitizing subjective assessment. For a multiple choice question test, it is easy to give feedback, but school exams are subjective. So, we will use their technology to give feedback to students. Another example is of Osmo, a Palo Alto-based company that we had acquired. They specialize in vision technology and we will use that. We will also use Aakash’s expertise in starting these 500 centres," Mohit said.

However, Byju’s will not leverage any of Aakash’s existing physical centres for Byju’s tuition classes as of now, Mohit clarified.

Byju’s offline and hybrid forays follow Aakash Educational Services’ plans of adding more physical centres in 2022. VCCircle reported on Tuesday that the company plans to add at least 75 more centres this year. Aakash also claimed it has not given up any of its physical centres since 2020, when the first lockdown was announced after covid-19 emerged.

nikhil.patwardhan@livemint.com

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Published: 17 Feb 2022, 12:22 AM IST
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