After acquiring Epic, a US-based digital reading platform for kids, for $500 million last week, EdTech decacorn BYJU’S has acquired after-school learning app Toppr and Singapore-headquartered Great Learning, a leading global player in the professional and higher education segment.
According to media reports, India’s most valuable startup is expected to spend $600 million to acquire Great Learning and another $150 million for the acquisition of Toppr.
The acquisition involved a mix of cash and equity. Shareholders of Great Learning and Toppr have swapped their respective shares with BYJU'S Series F shares.
BYJY’S has earmarked a further $400 million of investment into this segment towards accelerating Great Learning's growth. The investment marks the Bengaluru-headquartered EdTech giant’s strong push into the professional upskilling and life-long learning space globally with a total commitment of $1million.
Great Learning, established in 2013, provides higher learning degree, diploma, and certificate courses across domains including data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital marketing, analytics, design thinking, cloud computing, etc. in association with well-known universities globally. It has delivered over 60 million hours of impactful learning to 1.5 million learners from over 170 countries. It leverages a carefully curated network of more than 2,800 industry expert mentors to deliver high-quality learning outcomes and works with more than 500 corporate partners for their upskilling and talent needs.
Commenting on the latest investment, Mohan Lakhamraju, Founder & CEO of Great Learning has said,
"At Great Learning, we have been working towards our mission of making high quality, transformational education accessible to learners everywhere. Together with BYJU’S, we will be able to accelerate our progress towards this goal and meet the growing need for upskilling both in India and around the world. Further, as higher education moves online, we will leverage our joint strengths in technology, content, pedagogy, and instructors to create unparalleled learning opportunities at affordable prices for everyone."
With this investment, Great Learning will accelerate its organic and inorganic growth in India and overseas markets, such as North America and Canada among others.
Great Learning collaborates with the best universities in the world, including Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), McCombs School of Business-University of Texas at Austin, Northwestern University, National University of Singapore (NUS), Deakin University, IIT Madras, IIT Roorkee, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Delhi, Shiv Nadar University, Great Lakes of Management, and others to offer degree, diploma, and certificate programs.
This partnership brings together BYJU’S technology and content expertise with Great Learning's sought-after professional courses at a significant time when the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving industry dynamics have encouraged professionals in India and globally to upskill themselves.
Founder and CEO of BYJU's, Byju Raveendran, has responded to the development, saying
"Empowering learners with the right futuristic skills forms a fundamental part of our vision. Great Learning is a globally and reputed professional education company and this partnership expands our reach into this new segment. We are united in our mission to provide professionals with high-quality and industry-relevant learning programs in this competitive global economy. With our combined strength, we aim to become a global market leader in the segment."
Toppr, founded in 2013 by IIT Bombay alumni Zishaan Hayath and Hemant Goteti, provides a learning app for K-12 students, allowing them to take live classes, tests and view recorded learning content. The Mumbai-based startup also provides a school management solution, School OS, helping educational institutions conduct online classes.
BYJU's has over 100 million registered students globally and 6 million+ annual paid subscriptions. With an average time of 71 minutes being spent by a student on the app every day from 1700+ cities, the app is creating a whole new way of learning through visual lessons, live learning, and personalization.
For BYJU'S, the acquisitions reiterate the company's focus on creating impactful leading products for students by adding more verticals, subjects, and languages to the same platforms.
BYJU’s has been on an acquisition spree for some time now. It has acquired six startups in 2021 across India and the US with the latest acquisitions.
The EdTech leader has been backed by strong and prominent investors like Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, CPPIB, General Atlantic, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Verlinvest, IFC, Aarin Capital, TimesInternet, Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Owl Ventures, and Qatar Investment Authority among others.
BYJU's has been an early mover in its inorganic growth opportunities and has started to see returns from the acquisitions it has made to date. It acquired Osmo 2 years ago, and the integration has seen Osmo scale four times since. Also, with its acquisition of WhiteHat Jr and launch of BYJU’S Future School, an online one-on-one live learning platform for Math and Coding released in April, it has empowered 11,000 women teachers to help students learn these subjects in an engaging and interactive way.