Byju’s is expected to shell out $600 mn for acquiring Great Learning and $150 mn for Toppr
Byju’s has shelled out more than $2.2 billion in acquiring complementary businesses in 2021
Edtech unicorn and India’s most valuable startup Byju’s is continuing its acquisition spree by buying after-school learning app Toppr and upskilling platform Great Learning in a cash and stock deal, according to regulatory filings filed by the company.
With this, Byju’s has acquired six startups in 2021, across India and the US.
The edtech company recently raised $1.5 billion from UBS Group, Abu Dhabi sovereign fund ADQ, and Blackstone Group LP among others, at a valuation of $16.5 billion, making it the highest valued Indian startup, as it overtook initial public offering (IPO)-bound Paytm’s $16 billion valuation.
Byju’s is expected to shell out $600 million to acquire Great Learning and another $150 million for the acquisition of Toppr, said an individual close to the discussions.
With this, Byju’s has shelled out more than $2.2 billion in acquiring complementary businesses in 2021 alone.
The edtech startup will, with the acquisition of Great Learning, enter the upskilling and reskilling segment, which already sees heavy competition from upGrad and Blackstone-backed Simplilearn. The acquisition is also expected to increase Byju’s offerings for the international markets.
Seven-year old Great Learning provides higher learning degree, diploma and certificate courses across domains such as data science, digital marketing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, in association with recognized universities globally.
According to regulatory filings, through a share swap, Great Learning’s existing shareholders LMK Holdings Ltd and Matrix Benefit Trust have been allotted Byju’s Series F preference shares worth ₹733.1 crore (or roughly $98 million). Byju’s will in exchange acquire 2.583 million ordinary shares in Great Learning Education Pte Ltd, filings show.
Byju’s will offering 17,036 Series F preference shares to Toppr’s existing shareholders, including Helion Venture Partners, Eight Roads, Alteria Capital, Livspace founder Ramakant Sharma, Kaizen PE, FH Learn LLP, and Learn 2 Holdings Ltd. worth ₹425.9 crore (or roughly $57.2 million), on the higher end of the price band.
Founded in 2013, Toppr at present provides a learning app for kindergarten to 12 (K-12) students, allowing them to take live classes and tests and view recorded learning content. It also provides a school management solution School OS, helping educational institutions conduct online classes. Other offerings include its exam preparation app Answr and code-learning offering Codr.
After the issue, shareholders of Great Learning and Toppr will hold 1% in Byju’s, regulatory filings show.
The edtech unicorn’s acquisition of Toppr will help it consolidate and improve its market position in the K-12 learning segment, where it faces heavy competition from SoftBank-backed Unacademy and Tiger Global-backed Vedantu.
As a part of the fresh issue of Series F shares, Byju’s has also raised ₹333.36 crore (or $44.79 million) from existing investor MIH Edtech Investments BV, a subsidiary of Naspers, taking its total stake in Byju’s parent Think & Learn Pvt. Ltd to 10.01%. Entrackr first reported about the development on Saturday.
Byju’s latest acquisition comes just a week after it shelled out $500 million to acquire US-based Epic, an online reading platform for children. In April, this year, it also signed one of the largest acquisition deals in the Indian edtech space by acquiring Aakash Educational Services Ltd for about $1 billion.
The company is actively looking to enter newer international geographies, and recently set foot in Latin America and South-East Asian markets with the launch of its online tutoring platform, Byju’s Future School.
In an earlier interaction with Mint, Byju’s founder and chief executive, Byju Raveendran, said that the startup aims to go public in 18-24 months, depending on market conditions.
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