Edtech Boom: Byju’s buys online test prep platform Gradeup

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September 08, 2021 4:10 AM

Gradeup has been rebranded as Byju’s Exam Prep. Byju’s will tap into Gradeup’s student reach with the acquisition while strengthening its presence in the growing online competitive examination preparation category.

The firm has spent over $2 billion on acquisitions so far this year including Indian rival Toppr which is yet to be officially announced by the company.The firm has spent over $2 billion on acquisitions so far this year including Indian rival Toppr which is yet to be officially announced by the company.

Byju’s on Tuesday said that it has acquired online exam preparation platform Gradeup, the ed-tech major’s fifth acquisition deal so far this year. Gradeup has been rebranded as Byju’s Exam Prep. Byju’s did not disclose the financial details of the transaction.

Byju’s will tap into Gradeup’s student reach with the acquisition while strengthening its presence in the growing online competitive examination preparation category. Through the Byju’s Exam Prep offering, the Bengaluru-based startup will cater to students preparing for more than 150 exams across over 25 exam categories, including government jobs and PG Entrance exams like GATE and CAT.

In a bid to gain access to the test prep market, Byju’s already acquired brick-and-mortar test prep service provider Aakash Educational Services in a near $1-billion deal earlier this year, one of the biggest in the local edtech space. In July, Byju’s acquired edtech start-up Great Learning in a $600-million deal and spent another $500 million to acquire US-based kids digital reading platform Epic.

The firm has spent over $2 billion on acquisitions so far this year including Indian rival Toppr which is yet to be officially announced by the company.

“With Gradeup on board, we will be able to further scale and expand our test-prep offerings in postgraduate level exams. Gradeup has already proved its mettle and we are excited to join forces with the seasoned team. We aim to bring our complementary strengths and expertise together to create engaging and personalised learning experiences,” Byju Raveendran founder & CEO, at Byju’s said in a statement.

Valued at $16.5 billion, Byju’s is backed by a slew of marquee investors including General Atlantic, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, Silver Lake and Tiger Global. The startup claims to service over 100 million registered students including 6.5 million paid learners. Byju’s, which has been leading the funding deals in the local edtech space, has allocated the bulk of the capital towards suitable M&As.

In 2020, Byju’s secured over $1 billion from investors. Earlier this year, it raised close to $1.5 billion from a clutch of investors, including Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, UBS Group and Blackston in tranches. The company is reportedly looking to raise a fresh $1-$1.5 billion at a valuation of as much as $21 billion.

Analysts at RBSA Advisors estimate the local online education offerings for classes 1 to 12 to increase by as much as 6.3 times by 2022, creating a $1.7 billion market, while the post-K12 market is set to grow by an expected 3.7 times to touch $1.8 billion. This growth is projected to be driven by K12, higher education, test preparation and upskilling categories, they said.

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