Blackstone Inc. has received a payment from Byju’s of 19 billion rupees ($234 million). The payment was made on Thursday for an interest in the learning centre network Aakash that Blackstone owns of approximately 38%.
As part of a $950 million transaction to purchase Aakash Educational, India’s Byju’s has settled its debts with private equity firm Blackstone Inc. by paying Rs 19 billion ($234 million) to the company. Edtech company Byju’s has paid $230 million that was owed to private equity investment company Blackstone for acquiring the controlling interest in test preparation company Aakash Educational Services. Aakash was purchased by Byju’s in April for $950 million.
Byju Raveendran, Divya Gokulnath, and a group of students founded the worldwide educational technology business Byju’s in India in 2011. Bangalore is where it is based. Byju’s is estimated to be worth US$22 billion as of March 2022, and the firm states that over 115 million students are now enrolled.
Since 2006, Byju, an engineer by trade, has taught students math. The company initially concentrated on providing online video-based educational programmes for the K–12 market and for competitive tests. The company first appeared in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India and Asia Pacific rankings in 2012 and has continued to do so ever since.
The business introduced Byju’s: The Learning App in August 2015. They debuted Byju’s Parent Connect app and the kid-friendly Math app for Byju in 2017. It had 15 million users by 2018, of which 900,000 were paying customers. Byju’s became India’s first edtech unicorn in the same year. By 2019, 60% of the students at BYJU were from non-metropolitan and rural areas.
The payment to Blackstone was postponed per an agreement between the parties, while it cleared payments that were due to the creator of Aakash in July. The company’s founders, Aakash and Blackstone, still own a small portion of it. For Byju’s business, the acquisition of Aakash has proven beneficial.
In the last 18 months, the Tiger Global-backed company has acquired 13 companies for a total of close to $3 billion, including Aakash, Great Learning ($650 million), Epic ($500 million), and Toppr ($150 million).
On September 14, Byju’s, owned and run by Think & Learn Pvt Ltd, released its much-delayed financial results for the fiscal year 2020–21. The company’s combined losses increased over 20 times, from Rs 231.69 crore in FY20 to Rs 4,588.75 crore for the fiscal year that ended in March 2021. Operations’ revenue increased slightly from Rs 2,189 crores in FY20 to Rs 2,280.26 crore in FY21. From Rs. 2,511.77 in the prior fiscal year to Rs. 2,428.39 crores in FY21, its entire income decreased by a little over 3%.
In the meantime, Byju Raveendran, the company’s creator, recently issued a touching letter to staff reassuring them that the business is on the right track and not to worry. Byju also mentioned in his letter that they will balance expansion with efficiency to guarantee sustainability. Their attention is already beginning to move toward lucrative expansion. The overarching goal is to efficiently distribute resources in order to maximise impact.
The company benefited greatly from a spike in demand for online education during the pandemic and was able to raise money from some of the biggest venture capital funds and financiers, including Sequoia Capital and Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, in order to keep up with its rapid rate of expansion.
Byju’s, which became one of the emblems of India’s start-up success, spent a total of $2.5 billion in the fiscal year that ended in March 2022 to acquire businesses like Aakash, Epic, a company based in the United States, the kids’ coding platform Tynker, the higher education company Great Learning, and the exam fraud platform Toppr.