Online learning platform Byju's on Wednesday said it has acquired Epic, the world's leading digital reading platform for kids 12 and under, for $500 million. The big acquisition comes on the heels of it buying the Aakash Institute for nearly $1 billion earlier this year. The Epic deal was backed by General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, Silver Lake, Tiger Global and other investors.
Byju's said that the acquisition will help expand its US footprint by providing access to the more than two million teachers and 50 million kids in Epic's existing global user-base, which more than doubled over the last year. The company said it will invest $1 billion in North America to accelerate its vision of helping students fall in love with learning.
"Our mission is to fuel curiosity and make students fall in love with learning. Knowing that Epic and its products are rooted in the same mission, it was a natural fit. Together we have the opportunity to create impactful experiences for children to become life-long learners," Byju's founder and CEO Byju Raveendran said.
The edtech company is among India's most valuable unicorns with a valuation of $16.5 billion. As per CB Insights data, as of June 2021, Byju's was the 11th most valuable start-up in the world. Byju's claims it currently has 100 million students on its platform.
Epic CEO Suren Markosian, and co-founder Kevin Donahue, will remain in their roles and continue carrying out Epic's mission to unlock the potential of every child through reading, the company said. "The alignment of our missions and shared passion makes Byju's the perfect partner, as we're confident this acquisition will ignite excitement for learning around the world," said Markosian.
Launched in 2015, Byju's said it has aggressive plans for international and US market expansion.