Byju’s has agreed to buy Singapore-based online higher education platform Northwest Education Pte in a cash-and-stock deal, said two people aware of the transaction, as India’s largest online tutoring firm continues to expand its presence overseas, especially in English-speaking markets.
Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, which operates Byju’s, will pay less than $100 million (around ₹750 crore) for the purchase, one of the two people cited above said, requesting anonymity.
The transaction will be financed through a mix of internal cash reserves and Byju’s stock and will include a milestone-based earn-out component for the founders of Northwest, the person said.
Byju’s, India’s most valuable startup, will carry out the acquisition through its upskilling platform, Great Learning, the two people cited above said. The acquisition will bolster Byju’s professional upskilling vertical, anchored around its Great Learning platform. Northwest Education operates Northwest Executive Education, which provides online upskilling programmes through various universities.
“The pools of revenue available in this segment are large because people are doing these up-skilling courses to get a job. The outcomes are tangible and outsized. As a result, the average selling price in this space is higher than test-prep or K-12 segments,” said Kashyap Chanchani, managing partner, The Rainmaker Group.
Byju’s and Northwest did not respond to requests for comment until press time.
Byju’s acquired Great Learning in June last year in a $600 million deal, its second-most expensive purchase so far. The ed-tech giant then said it would invest an additional $400 million to grow the business.
Through Great Learning, Byju’s entered the upskilling and reskilling segment. This February, Great Learning acquired Superset, which uses technology to make campus recruitments easier. At the time, Great Learning chief executive Mohan Lakhamraju said the firm was looking to add new capabilities and segments to its business through inorganic acquisitions.
Great Learning did not respond to a request for comment.
The Northwest deal follows Byju’s parent announcing on 11 March that it will raise a fresh $800 million round at a $22 billion valuation. Sumeru Ventures, Blackrock and Vitruvian Partners will lead the round with a $400 million funding, with Byju’s founder Byju Raveendran investing the rest. Raveendran is currently raising a personal loan of $400 million against his shares in the company.
Raveendran’s personal fundraising is “fully on track with more than half the amount already raised,” a spokesperson for Byju’s said on 28 April, without identifying the lenders.Source: Mint