Delhi-based Aakash Educational Services provides test preparation services and the deal is reportedly set to close in the next 2-3 months.

Byjus is acquiring Aakash CentresImage courtesy: Picxy.com/munna
Money EduTech Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 13:22

EduTech startup Byju’s is reportedly acquiring Aakash Educational Services, an offline test preparatory services provider in a $1 billion deal, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. The deal is reportedly set to close in the next 2-3 months.

Delhi-based Aakash Educational Services provides test preparation services for students studying for medical and engineering entrance exams, school/board exams, KVPY, NTSE, Olympiads and other foundation level exams as a chain of coaching centres called Aakash Centres. The company is backed by the Blackstone Group, which has a 37.5% stake, and has a pan-India network of 200+ Aakash Centres and claims to have more than 2.5 lakh students.

According to the Bloomberg report, the deal will see the founders of Aakash Educational Services exit the company completely and its investor Blackstone will swap a portion of its 37.5% stake for a stake in Byju’s. How much it will get in Blackstone is not known yet.

The report further states that a Byju’s spokesperson declined to comment and Aakash Educational Services hasn’t responded to queries.

Byju’s, which got a boost during the pandemic with students having to move to online education, currently claims to have 75 million registered students and 5.2 million annual paid subscriptions with an average time of 71 minutes being spent by a student on the app every day. The Bengaluru-based startup is currently valued at $12 billion, having raised funds from various prominent investors. It is backed by Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, prominent Silicon Valley investor Mary Meeker’s Bond Capital and Tiger Global Management, among others.

This acquisition comes nearly six months after it acquired online coding startup WhiteHat Jr. for $300 million. However, both the companies have come under severe criticism for marketing tactics adopted by WhiteHat Jr.

Prior to that, it acquired US-based Osmo for $120 million in January 2019 and TutorVista, Edurite from Pearson in July 2017.

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