- Byju’s has acquired test preparation platform Aakash Educational Services for somewhere between $800-1 billion.
- Post-acquisition, Blackstone Group, and AESL founders will hold a minority stake in Byju’s at a valuation of about $13 billion.
- Aakash Educational Services offers test preparation services to students from colleges and schools.
Bengaluru-based edtech decacorn Byju’s today announced it has completed the acquisition of test preparation platform Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) for around $900-1 billion cash-stock deal. The deal is considered to be one of the largest acquisitions in the edtech space.
The announcement comes almost a week after it raised $460 million in its Series F funding round led by MC Global Edtech Investment Holdings LP, B Capital, among others. The round valued the company at $13 billion.
Post-acquisition, AESL will continue to operate as a separate entity. Blackstone Group, the early investor in AESL, and Aakash Educational Services founders — JC Chaudhary and Aakash Chaudhary — will hold a minority stake in Byju’s at a valuation of about $13 billion, Byju’s founder Byju Raveendran said.
Through this deal, Byju’s will be able to integrate AESL’s content expertise and technology capabilities in its platform to drive better growth in the field of test preparation. After completion of the integration, Byju’s will also look forward to investing in AESL, the statement said. It was reported that Byju’s has been in talks with AESL since January for the acquisition deal that could worth $1 billion.
Aakash Educational Services Limited runs a chain of brick-and-mortar test preparation coaching centers. Since its inception, AESL has successfully expanded to 215 offline coaching centers across the country. It offers test preparation services for various exams like medical, engineering, school boards, KVPY, NTSE, and other foundational exams. In October 2019, Blackstone Group had acquired a 37.5% stake in AESL for Rs 1,350 crore.
Speaking on the development, Aakash Chaudhary, Managing Director, AESL, said, “At Aakash, we are looking to transform student experiences by steering innovative and digitally-enabled learning solutions. Together with BYJU’S, we will work towards building an omnichannel learning offering that will accelerate test-prep experience to the next level.”
Byju Raveendran, CEO of Byju’s, said, “I am happy to have Aakash Educational Services Limited, a market leader and the most trusted name in the test-prep services, onboard with us. Our complementary strengths will enable us to build capabilities, create engaging and personalised learning programs.”
“We look forward to being a part of the partnership between the two foremost companies in Indian supplementary education – Aakash and BYJU’S,” said, Amit Dixit from Blackstone Group.
So far, Byju’s has acquired three edtech firms including US-based Osmo for $120 million in 2019, TutorVista, Edurite from Pearson in 2017, and Whitehat Jr. for $300 million in 2020. Earlier in February 2021, Byju’s was in talks to acquire its edtech rival Toppr for $150 million in a cash-stock deal.