BYJU’s Buys Aakash for $1 Bn: A Look at the Test Prep Co’s Journey

From a tiny coaching centre in West Delhi to a market leader in offline test preparation – here’s how AESL expanded.

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Tech News
2 min read

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam

EdTech giant BYJU’s on Monday, 5 April, announced its acquisition of the 33-year-old chain of physical coaching centres, Aakash Educational Services, through a strategic merger. The $1 billion deal has been in the works since January 2021.

Both the companies have not revealed any details about the transaction. However, a report by TechCrunch stated that BYJU’s has paid ‘close to $1 billion’ in cash and equity for the merger, quoting ‘people familiar with the development’.

Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) owns and operates more than 200 centres across the country. It provides test material for engineering and medical students.

AESL founders JC Chaudhry and Aakash Chaudhry and Blackstone Group stand to become shareholders in BYJU'S, whose current valuation is nearing $15 billion.

‘BYJU’s to Make Further Investment’

Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO, BYJU’S said in a statement, “The future of learning is hybrid and this union will bring together the best of offline and online learning, as we combine our expertise to create impactful experiences for students. After the integration, BYJU’S will make further investments to accelerate Aakash’s growth”.

Commenting on the deal, Aakash Chaudhary, Managing Director, AESL said, “Together with BYJU’S, we will work towards building an omni-channel learning offering that will accelerate test-prep experience to the next level”

‘Aakash to Continue As A Separate Entity’

In a statement Aakash Chaudhry, Managing director of AESL, said that the company will continue to operate as a separate entity.

Amit Dixit, Co-Head of Asia Acquisitions and Head of India Private Equity at Blackstone, stated that the omni-channel strategy will be the winning model in test prep and tutoring. “We look forward to being a part of the partnership between two leading companies in Indian supplementary education – Aakash and BYJU’S,” he said.

List of Companies Acquired by BYJU’s

BYJU’s was founded in 2011 and currently caters to 90 million students on its e-learning platform, with 5.5 million annual paid subscribers and an annual renewal rate of 86 percent.

BYJU’s acquired three other companies before this:

  • In July 2017, BYJU’s acquired TutorVista and Edurite from Pearson, one of the largest online tutoring brands for school and college students in the US.
  • In January 2019, BYJU’s reportedly acquired US-based Osmo, a blended-learning educational games platform for children aged 3-8 years for $120 million.
  • In July 2020, BYJU’S acquired WhiteHat Jr for $300 million, which teaches online coding to students through live lessons and interactive classes.

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