Edtech major Byju’s is in talks with US-based edtech firms companies, Chegg and 2U, to acquire either of them, according to a Bloomberg report. Byju’s is evaluating the financials of the two companies and expects to make an offer in the coming weeks.
Chegg’s market value was USD 2.3 billion as of Friday’s close, while 2U had a market value of USD 756 million and more than USD 1 billion in debt and other liabilities. “The Bangalore-based company has held talks with both Santa Clara, California-based Chegg and Lanham, Maryland-based 2U and the total value of a deal could be about USD 2 billion, said the people,” according to the report quoting sources.
The company has been making efforts to go global. In early 2019, Byju’s acquired Osmo, a Palo Alto-based maker of educational games to transform the whole offline to online learning experience. Since then, it has expanded with strong partners like EPiC, Tynker, White Hat Jr, Aakash, Great Learning and Gradeup, among others, strengthening its portfolio of offerings and its reach globally.
Recently, Byju’s was also named an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. “We are excited to be sponsoring the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the biggest single-sport event in the world. It is a matter of pride for us to represent India on such a prestigious global stage and champion the integration of education and sport,” its founder and CEO Byju Raveendran had said.
Byju’s, the most valued ed-tech startup in the country, is backed by marquee investors like Mary Meeker, Yuri Milner, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global and others. It has a valuation of USD 22 billion.
As part of its domestic expansion, Byju’s last year in April had acquired test-prep leader Aakash Educational Services for nearly USD 1 billion (about Rs 7,300 crore) to build the start-up’s position in the brick and mortar segment. This acquisition is Byju’s biggest and was one of the largest edtech deals in the world. After the transaction, Blackstone Group and Aakash Educational Services Ltd (AESL) held a minority stake in Byju’s.
Later, in July last year, Byju’s announced the acquisition of Singapore-headquartered Great Learning in a transaction valued at USD 600 million, comprising cash, stock and earnout. It also earmarked an additional USD 400 million of investment in the professional and higher education segment to accelerate Great Learning’s growth.
“The acquisition marks BYJU’S strong push into the professional upskilling and life-long learning space globally with a total commitment of USD 1 billion, expanding its offerings beyond the K12 and test prep segments, and further accelerating the company’s growth plans,” Byju’s had said.
With corporate headquarters in Bengaluru and offices in 21 countries, Byju’s products are present in over 120 countries. Launched in 2015, Byju’s has already empowered 3.4 million students from underserved communities with digital learning in India and aims to reach 10 million students in its home country by 2025. The app has over 115 million registered students and 7.5 million annual paid subscriptions.