- Byju’s has acquired $300 million for edtech company WhiteHat Jr. as the Indian online learning giant seeks to extend its dominant presence in the region.
Byju’s has acquired $300 million for edtech company WhiteHat Jr. as the Indian online learning giant seeks to extend its dominant presence in the region.
The all-cash deal makes 18-month-old Mumbai-headquartered WhiteHat Jr., the biggest exit tale in the Indian startup industry, offering online coding courses to school-going students in India and the U.S.
WhiteHat Jr., which raised around $11 million from Omidyar Network, Owl Ventures, and Nexus Venture Partners, has reached a $150 million annual sales run rate. Right now it will continue to operate as a separate company, a spokesperson right Byju told TechCrunch.
“We started WhiteHat Jr. to make kids creators instead of technology users,” WhiteHat Jr. founder Karan Bajaj said in a statement. “Technology is at the core of every human interaction today and we set out to develop a coding curriculum that was delivered live and linked like never before to students and teachers.”
Byju Raveendran, the eponymous startup’s founder and chief executive, said Byju’s will make “major investments” in WhiteHat Jr., and recruit more teachers to extend it into new markets. Recently, WhiteHat Jr. revealed plans to expand to Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
WhiteHat Jr. assigns one teacher to each pupil, in comparison to other edtech startups. These classes are live, and each session cost about $10, Bajaj told TechCrunch last month in an interview. For now, more than 5,000 teachers are employed with WhiteHat Jr., Bajaj said.
“WhiteHat Jr is the pioneer in on-line live coding. As an outstanding designer, Karan has proved his mettle and the credit goes to him and his team for producing children-loved coding programs. The company has achieved remarkable growth in India and the US in a short period under his leadership, “Raveendran said in a statement.
Today’s announcement highlights the increasing process of India’s education startups as they report skyrocketing growth at the height of a global pandemic. “Pleasant to see such an escape inside the Indian startup ecosystem. Happy to see WhiteHat Jr. find their home at the world’s most admired ed-tech company that will allow them to reach more students worldwide, “said Sajith Pai, Manager at Blume Ventures, in a TechCrunch interview.
Byju’s is also in negotiations separately to acquire Doubtnut — a two-year-old company whose software lets students from grade six to high school solve and understand math and science problems in local languages — for as much as $150 million, TechCrunch reported earlier.
Byju’s, which early last year acquired U.S.-based startup Osmo that designs immersive play applications that tap into custom hardware in a $120 million transaction, currently leads India’s ed-tech marketplace. The company has been looking for ways of expanding both outside India and making inroads in the country’s smaller towns and cities.