After a slew of fund-raising rounds in 2020 that made online edtech startup Byju’s the second-most valuable private firm in India, the company seems ready to spend its cash. According to a Bloomberg report, Byju’s has agreed to buy Aakash Education Services—which runs over 200 physical tutoring centres across India—for $1 billion.
The deal, expected to be closed within the next 2-3 months, would be among the largest edtech acquisitions in the world.
Byju’s, valued at around $12 billion, would be acquiring a brick-and-mortar tutoring firm with over 2.5 lakh students. In late 2019, Blackstone acquired a 37.5 per cent stake in Aakash.
According to the report, Aakash’s founders, the Chaudhry family, would exit completely, while Blackstone will swap a portion of its 37.5 per cent equity in Aakash for Byju’s stake.
Neither Byju’s nor Aakash have responded to the report yet.
In the aftermath of COVID-19, in-person tutoring has taken a hit while online services like those offered by Byju’s have skyrocketed in popularity. Byju’s now reportedly serves over 7 crore students.
Investors in Byju’s include Mark Zuckerberg's Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers and Tiger Global Management, and DSP Global.