BYJU’S to acquire Aakash in $1-bn ‘strategic’ deal

Future of learning is hybrid: CEO Byju

Edtech platform BYJU’S on Monday entered into a strategic partnership with test preparatory services firm Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) to acquire the latter for approximately $1 billion.

The company declined to reveal details about the valuation and other financial details. Private equity major Blackstone-backed AESL currently runs 215 test centres that prepare students for medical and engineering entrance exams, school/board exams, Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojna (KVPY), National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), Olympiads, and other foundation level exams, BYJU’S said in a statement.

“The future of learning is hybrid and this union [with Aakash] will bring together the best of offline and online learning,” Byju Raveendran, founder, and CEO, BYJU’S said. “The pandemic has brought the importance of the blended format of learning to the forefront,” he added.

This partnership would bring together Aakash’s pedagogy expertise in the test-prep segment with BYJU’S content and tech capabilities across verticals, subjects and languages, said Aakash Chaudhry, MD, AESL.

Post acquisition, Aakash will continue to operate as a separate entity and its founders — J.C. Chaudhry and Aakash Chaudhry — along with PE partner Blackstone, will become shareholders in BYJU’S.

Blackstone had acquired a 37.5% stake in Aakash for about $183 million in 2019.

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