ⓘ Featured image: BYJU’s founder Byju Raveendran (L), Amazon founder & CEO Jeff Bezos (R)
- BYJU’s didn’t make any official statement regarding Aakash’s acquisition deal
- Amazon announced the launch of Amazon Academy, targeting JEE aspirants
According to various media reports, India’s edtech unicorn BYJU’s, on Wednesday, has signed the deal to acquire Aakash Educational Services Limited for $1 billion. The deal is projected to close within the next couple of weeks – marking the largest edtech acquisition in the world to date.
Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) was started in 1988 by JC Chaudhary. Currently, the leading institute in India that provides comprehensive test preparatory services to students for medical and engineering entrance exams. Aakash today has a PAN-India network of 200+ centres and over 250,000 students.
According to the Economic Times, as a part of the acquisition, Aakash founder i.e. JC Chaudhary & family will exit the company completely and its backer Blackstone Group will swap a portion of 37.5 percent equity in Aakash for BYJU’s stake.
Though the news around Aakash’s acquisition by BYJU’s is revolving across for three days now, the company didn’t come up with any official statement or information yet. At the same time, AESL commented,
“Putting these speculations to rest, we would like to state that AESL is on a mission to build India’s largest digitally-enabled, omnichannel education company. We will accelerate our digital transformation and deliver phenomenal value to our students. We will rapidly expand our omnichannel & digital offerings, as we embark on the next trajectory of quality education & growth,”
On Wednesday itself, another news flashed across saying that Amazon India announced the launch of Amazon Academy, offering JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) preparation courses to class 11 and 12 students in India. It is worth noting that Amazon Academy directly competes with BYJU’s, Unacademy, Toppr and other leading institutes offering education services in the same segment. It’s no wonder, Amazon will soon tap into more segments of education in India.
Amazon Academy on its official portal said that its courses are available for free for at least a next few months, and that it has the right to revoke access to free content any time. The Amazon Academy app is launched and active on Google Playstore for Android users, but not available for iOS users yet. The Bezos’ company said that it will offer JEE preparatory resources “at launch” including mock tests, over 15,000 questions with hints, and detailed step by step solutions for practice.
Speaking of the launch, Amol Gurwara, Director, Education at Amazon India, in a statement said,
“Amazon Academy aims to bring high quality, affordable education to all, starting with those preparing for engineering entrance examinations. Our mission is to help students achieve their outcomes while also empowering educators and content partners reach millions of students. Our primary focus has been on content quality, deep learning analytics and student experience. This launch will help engineering aspirants prepare better and achieve the winning edge in JEE,”
According to PGA Labs and IVCA, India’s education sector is expected to grow from $117 billion (present) to $225 billion by FY25.
On Thursday, Unacademy, another Bengaluru-based edtech unicorn raised another $50 million from Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, Steadview Capital, and General Atlantic. The company is now valued at $2 billion. The company is in a dominant position in the online competitive exam preparation space and also acquired Kreatyx last year.
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