Byju’s may acquire Toppr for $150 million as ed-tech consolidates


2021-02-15 18:01:14

BENGALURU: After being one of the main beneficiaries of the mega funding rush in the online education sector during the pandemic, ed-tech major Byju’s is now triggering consolidation in the space. It is set to acquire smaller rival Toppr in a $150 million deal, sources directly aware of the matter said.
The deal would be a mix of equity and cash, with a larger proportion of the latter. Investors have been given the option to either opt for a cash payout or get a stake in Byju’s parent firm, sources added. The transaction is expected to close in the next two-three weeks.
“I think Toppr was on Byju’s radar for a while and now with the market getting polarised, with a few large players having a lot of funds, there will be more consolidation. For Toppr, it was about raising more money and operating alone for some more time or choosing to work in a larger engine (Byju’s),” a person aware of the matter said.
Tech media platform Entrackr first reported the acquisition talks on Monday. TOI has independently confirmed the acquisition.
Started in 2013 by Zishaan Hayath and Hemanth Goteti, Toppr has around 13 million users among students between classes 1 and 12. It has raised a total of over $92 million in funding from investors including Elevation Capital, private equity firm Kaizen, among others.
Byju’s is also reportedly in the middle of acquiring Aakaash Institutes for $1 billion. In August, it acquired coding platform WhiteHat Jr for $300 million.
SoftBank-backed Unacademy and Tiger Global-backed Vedantu are other major independent ed-tech platforms. Such startups have seen demand rising from students with the pandemic forcing many schools to stay shut.
Ed-tech startups last year raised over $2 billion in capital, compared to $553 million in 2019, according to a joint report by Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA) and PGA Labs.
Spokespersons of Byju’s and Toppr declined to comment on the acquisition.
“Byju’s is clearly driving the consolidation, having amassed most of the capital last year,” the person quoted previously said.
It closed a $500 million funding last year and is in the process of adding another $200 million from US-based investors T Rowe Price and BlackRock at a valuation of $12 billion. Byju’s has not announced the latest funding yet.



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