Byju’s, India’s most valuable startup, has announced that it has acquired Gradeup, an online test preparation platform, marking the company’s eighth acquisition since January. The details of the transaction remained undisclosed. This acquisition intends that the unicorn startup aims to double concentrate on the competitive exam sector.
The firm, which has already a presence in the Joint Entrance Examination(JEE) and the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), will now also expand its exam preparation offerings to include a variety of other possibilities for students.
Following the acquisition, Gradeup has been rebranded as Byju’s Exam Prep and the company will cater to students preparing for over 150 entrance exams across 25 exam categories covering government jobs and post-graduate entrance exams such as IAS, GATE, CAT, Bank PO/Clerk, Defence, and UGC-NET.
“With Gradeup on board, we will be able to further scale and expand our test-prep offerings in postgraduate level exams,” said Byju Raveendran, Founder, and CEO at BYJU’S.
Times Internet Ltd (TIL), a subsidiary of Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd is one of the investors in GradeStack, which was launched in August 2012. More than 25 million students have used Gradeup to study for various exams. Its courses include a mix of live classes with professors, study materials, practice tests, and assessments.
Shobhit Bhatnagar, CEO of Gradeup, said: “By combining live classes, assessments, and quality study material, we have built a highly specialized offering for students preparing for competitive exams. Together with BYJU’S, we will accelerate our growth and expand our reach across the country. Further, we will leverage their strengths in content to deepen our current product offering and broaden our coverage of exams.”
Byju’s foothold in the fast-growing online competitive test preparation area will be bolstered as a result of the deal, which will also make use of Gradeup’s pedagogy and student reach. It would help the company gain a competitive advantage over competitors such as Unacademy, Simplilearn, UpGrad, Amazon Academy, and traditional education institutes in the $180 billion education market in the country.
Byju’s has been on an acquisition spree, spending nearly $2.2 billion on acquisitions so far this year. It reportedly bought Great Learning, a higher education platform, for $600 million, Epic, a digital reading platform for youngsters, for $500 million, and Aakash Educational Services, a test preparation company, for $1 billion all in a row.
Byju’s, the largest edtech startup in India, currently has over 65 million subscribers but the edtech business has experienced rapid growth in the previous year, with at least 25 million new users signing up to use its site after the lockdown was announced in March of last year.
Byju’s had raised $1.5 billion in June from UBS Group, Abu Dhabi sovereign fund ADQ, and Blackstone Group, among others, for a $16.5 billion value.
Byju’s raised over $1 billion in April from investors including Baron Funds, Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, and US-based investment hedge fund XN Exponent Holding, valuing the firm at $15 billion.
In July 2021, Byju’s Learning app with Disney was released in the United States, with the goal of assisting children ages 4–8 in exploring, practicing, and understanding arithmetic, language, and reading subjects through interactive learning journeys paired with Disney’s world-class storytelling.
Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, CPPIB, General Atlantic, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Verlinvest, IFC, Aarin Capital, TimesInternet, Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Owl Ventures, and Qatar Investment Authority are some of the investors of the edtech startup Byjus.