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Byju’s Clears Payment To Acquire Akash for $1 Billion After Lay-Offs and Delays

The company has recently laid off hundreds of employees from its subsidiary companies Toppr and WhiteHat Jr.

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After reports of delays, Indian education technology company Byju's says it has cleared payments for its $1 billion acquisition of Aakash Educational Services.

"The acquisition is fully on track and all payments are expected to be completed by the agreed upon date in August 2022," a spokesperson from the edtech company told IANS.

It has also received the majority of the $800 million it had raised in March from investors, including private equity firm Blackstone, Sumeru Ventures, and Vitruvian Partners.

This comes amid reports that the company has recently laid off hundreds of employees from its subsidiary companies Toppr and WhiteHat Jr.

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Hundreds Laid Off

There have been conflicting reports regarding the number of employees laid off. A Moneycontrol report stated that around 1500 employees were fired from Toppr and WhiteHat Jr, and a further 1000 employees from Byju's core operations team. IANS places the total figure at around 600.

"We strongly deny the misinformation presented by Moneycontrol," Byju's said in a statement, adding that fewer than 500 people had been laid off.

Toppr, an online learning platform, was acquired by Byju's in 2021 for $150 million and WhiteHat Jr, a platform focused on teaching coding to children, was acquired by in 2020 for $300 million. 800 employees quit the latter when asked to work from office.

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IPO Plans Amid Economic Downturn

Byju's is currently India's highest valued startup, holding a valuation of $22 billion. The company has spent a total of $2.5 billion on acquiring several startup companies since the start of 2021.

The company also has plans to launch an IPO next year, to prepare for which it raised a whopping $800 million earlier this year.

Despite the plans for growth and expansion, it is clear that the global macroeconomic conditions have affected Byju's as well. The edtech giant has said it is "optimising teams" in order to speed up long-term growth.

This wave of layoffs comes at a time when tech companies (particularly edtech startups) are being forced to downsize and cut costs.

This year, Over 10,000 employees have lost their jobs at edtech startups like Unacademy, Vedantu, FrontRow, Udayy, Lido Learning to name a few. There was a massive demand for online education services over the last two years.

The current market conditions coinciding with the reopening of schools and physical learning centres has put edtech companies in a vulnerable situation.

(With inputs from Moneycontrol, IANS, and Bloomberg.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Layoffs   Edtech apps   byju's 

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