Byju’s changing fortune: From buying spree to selling crown jewels

Edtech major Byju’s rode the easy money wave during the Covid pandemic, using that time to acquire companies that allowed it to enter a new vertical or geography.

From those highs, the Bengaluru-headquartered company founded in 2011 is now looking to sell two companies it lists as “well-known acquisitions” on its website —  Epic and Great Learning.

But strategic buys have been critical to its quick expansion.

The company got a valuation of about $8 billion by January 2020 after becoming a unicorn in late 2017.

Then, during the Covid-19 pandemic its growth was turbocharged by its fundraise.

The valuation of the company led by Byju Raveendran jumped to $15 billion by April 2021.

Raveendran used the funds to acquire some 20 companies worldwide.

Sample this: In July 2021, Byju’s acquired the US-based digital reading platform Epic for $500 million.

The acquisition helped Byju’s expand its US footprint by providing access to more than 2 million teachers and 50 million students in Epic’s existing global user base.

In the same month, it acquired Great Learning, a leading Singapore-based global player in the professional and higher education segment for $600 million, comprising cash, stock, and earnout.

But as the pandemic waned, the easy money began to dry up.

Startups in India attracted just $2.8 billion in the first quarter of 2023, down from $12 billion the previous year, according to market research and data tracking entity Tracxn.

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