NEW DELHI: Test preparation company Aakash Educational Services Ltd (AESL) Wednesday announced setting up of a new edtech entity to capture a bigger pie of the digital coaching market that is fast expanding due to the disruptions caused by the covid-19 pandemic in the recent months.
The company, which seeks to get listed in the stock market in the future, said it has made coaching firm Meritnation, its recent acquisition, part of the new entity named Aakash Edutech Pvt Ltd (AEPL). This will “accelerate growth in its digital Edtech business", the company said.
“The 100% wholly owned subsidiary, AEPL will comprise Aakash Digital and Meritnation, providing a cutting-edge online platform for students to access high-quality live test preparation classes and live tuitions combined with self-study materials enabling better students’ outcomes," said AESL headquartered in Delhi.
Meritnation, which started in 2009, was acquired by Aakash in January. Technology industry veteran Narasimha Jayakumar will lead AEPL as its chief executive officer. Jayakumar has previously worked in companies like Google, Expedia, 99acres.com and Homeshop18.
“The creation of Aakash Edutech Pvt. Ltd. will help significantly accelerate the growth of AESL’s digital business…The new subsidiary will further strengthen AESL’s competitive positioning not only in digital education but will also further enable its offline student offering across its 200 classroom centres, teaching over 2,50,000 students,’ Aakash Chaudhry, Director and CEO of Aakash Educational Services.
Aakash Educational Services has been a leading name in coaching industry catering to medical and engineering aspirants as well as high school students. In recent years, it has offered online coaching firms but there are bigger players in the space and new edtech startups are testing huge traction from students of late.
Last week, Byju’s had raised about $100 million from US technology investor Bond propelling the education startup to a $10.5 billion valuation. This makes it the second-most valued startup in India, overtaking hospitality unicorn Oyo, Mint reported on 27 June.
“AESL has seen significant growth in the last decade, becoming one of the largest education companies in the country. The formation of Aakash Edutech Pvt. Ltd. will aid our push into newer areas and cutting-edge education technology, enabling us to deliver long-term value to our students, employees, investors and other stakeholders," Jaykumar said.
In October 2019, AESL had partnered with Blackstone Inc. to create India’s largest digitally enabled, omni-channel test preparation company, by growing its large digital business to supplement its strong physical network of 200 centres.