Byju’s continues acquisition spree, acquires Toppr and Great Learning

Edtech Unicorn and India's Most Valuable Startup Byju's is continuing its Acquisition Spree by buying after School Learning App Toppr and upskilling platform Great Learning in Cash and Stock deal, According to regulatory filings filed by the company.

With this, Byju's acquired six startups in 2021 across India and the US.

The edtech technology company recently raised $ 1.5 billion from UBS Group, Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ, and Blackstone Group LP, among others, worth $ 16.5 billion, making it the highest valued Indian startup, as it overtook initial public offering (IPO) -bound Paytm’s $16 billion valuation.

Byju's is expected to commit $600 million to acquire Great Learning and another $ 150 million to acquire Toppr, said an individual close to the discussions.

With this, Byju's spent more than $ 2.2 billion acquiring complementary businesses in 2021 alone.

The educational technology startup, with the acquisition of Great Learning, enter the the upskilling and reskilling segment, which already sees heavy competition from upGrad and Blackstone-backed Simplilearn. The acquisition is also expected to increase Byju's offering for the international markets.

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The seven-year Great Learning provides higher education, diploma, and certificate courses in areas such as data science, digital marketing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, in collaboration with world-renowned universities.

According to regulatory filings, through a share swap, existing shareholders of Great Learning LMK Holdings Ltd and Matrix Benefit Trust received Byju Series F preference shares worth Rs733.1 crore (or roughly $98 million). The filings show that Byju's will acquire 2.583 million common shares in Great Learning Education Pte Ltd.

Byju will offer 17,036 Series F preferred shares to existing Toppr shareholders, including Helion Venture Partners, Eight Roads, Alteria Capital, Livspace founder, Ramakant Sharma, Kaizen PE, FH Learn LLP and Learn 2 Holdings Ltd. Valued at 425.9 crore (or approximately US $ 57.2 million), on the higher end of the price band.

Founded in 2013, Toppr currently offers a kindergarten education app for 12 students (K-12), allowing them to take live lessons and tests and view recorded learning content. It also provides a school operating system management solution, which helps educational institutions conduct online lessons. Other offerings include its exam preparation app Answr and code-learning offering Codr.

After issuance, contributors to Great Learning and Toppr will receive 1% in Byju, according to regulatory documents.

Edtech unicorn's acquisition of Toppr will help it consolidate and enhance its market position in the K-12 education sector, where it faces stiff competition from SoftBank-backed Unacademy and Tiger Global-backed Vedantu.

As part of the new Series F share issue, Byju's also raised 333.36 crore (or $ 44.79 million) from existing investor MIH Edtech Investments BV, a Naspers subsidiary, taking its full stake in Byju's parent company Think & Learn Pvt. Ltd. at 10.01%. Entrackr first reported on the development on Saturday.

Byju's latest acquisition comes just a week after it spent $ 500 million to acquire Epic, a US-based online reading platform for children. In April this year, it also signed one of the largest acquisitions. in India's educational technology space by acquiring Akash Education Services Limited for around $ 1 billion.

The company is actively seeking to enter new international geographies and has recently set foot in the Latin American and Southeast Asian markets with the launch of its online educational platform, Byju's Future School.

Byju founder and CEO Byju Raveendran said the startup aims to go public within 18 to 24 months, depending on market conditions.

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