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Signs of a New Age: Online startup Byju’s to acquire Aakash Institute
OPINION: Byju’s to take over Aakash? If and when the deal comes through, it would be one of the biggest edtech acquisitions in the world.

These are signs of the dawn of a new era facilitated by science and technology, busting the Indian ubiquitous rackets one by one like the massive politician-British clerk-NCERT-printer-newsprint-fake author racket, which led to a mushroom growth of tuition centres like Aakash, which, of course, has done a yeaoman service to the hapless victims of our Macaulay schools.

NEW DELHI, Jan 13: In one of the largest edtech deals in the world, India’s biggest online education startup Byju’s is acquiring Aakash Educational Services Ltd for $1 billion, according to unconfirmed reports.

The Aakash Institute has over 200 physical centres providing coaching to students in the medical and engineering entrance examinations. There are currently over 2,50,000 enrolments.

The Bangalore-headquartered Byju’s has had the demand for its online learning soaring since the lockdown and restrictions to check coronavirus pandemic came into force. Schools and tuition centres remain closed since March last year.

A $12 billion worth startup, Byju’s is backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Tiger Global Management and Bond Capital.

Byju’s acquired Mumbai-based edtech start-up WhiteHat last year and earlier, it also bought the US-based educational gaming company Osmo.

The Blackstone Group-backed New Delhi-based Aakash Educational Services' Chief Executive Officer Aakash Chaudhry has not revealed the details. Blackstone has 37.5% equity in Aakash.

Aakash has over 30 years of experience in training students for the entrance examinations for engineering and medical courses. It has an annual turnover of about Rs 1,200 crore.

Byju’s was founded by Byju Raveendran, a teacher, in 2011. The app caters for students from KG to Class XII. It has five million users a month.

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