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    Byju’s parent buys WhiteHat Jr in $300m cash deal

    Synopsis

    After the acquisition, Byju’s will make significant investments in WhiteHat Jr’s technology platform, product innovation while expanding the teacher base to cater to demand from new markets.

    This integration is aimed to help Byju’s further expand its offerings in India. This acquisition will also accelerate Byju’s US expansion plans.
    NEW DELHI: Think and Learn which owns and operates education technology platform Byju’s — The Learning App — has acquired Mumbai-based WhiteHat Jr in a $300 million all-cash transaction, according to an announcement late Wednesday evening.

    WhiteHat Jr, founded in 2018 by Karan Bajaj, the former CEO of Discovery Networks India, operates in the K-12 segment, teaching students to code and helping them build commercial-ready games, animations and apps, using the fundamentals of coding.

    The startup has developed a proprietary coding curriculum, focused on product creation, and imparts lessons through live, interactive online classes. It claims to be clocking a revenue run rate of $150 million. DC Advisors acted as the exclusive financial advisors to the transaction.

    According to an official statement released by Byju’s, it will make significant investments in WhiteHat Jr’s technology platform, product innovation while expanding the teacher base to cater to demand from new markets. Bajaj will continue to lead and scale this business in India and the US.

    The acquisition will now allow Byju’s to launch coding to children, a niche, but fast-growing segment amongst the K-12 space, in the broader edtech sector.

    The WhiteHat Jr acquisition is also likely to give its investors a strong exit.

    The Mumbai-based company, which last raised capital in late 2019 from Silicon Valley-based investor Owl Ventures, Omidyar Network and Nexus Venture Partners, has till date raised a little over $11 million across its seed and Series A rounds.

    The acquisition will now allow Byju's to launch coding to children, a niche but fast-growing segment among the K-12 space in the broader ed-tech sector.

    "WhiteHat Jr is the leader in the live online coding space. Karan has proven his mettle as an exceptional founder and the credit goes to him and his team for creating coding programs that are loved by kids. Under his leadership the company has achieved phenomenal growth in India and the US in a short span of time," said Byju Raveendran, founder and chief executive of Byju's.

    The closure of the deal comes even as Byju's is reportedly in advanced stages of negotiations to acquire Doubtnut, a two-year-old learning app, for as much as $100-$150 million, in what is also expected to be an all-cash transaction.

    The purchase of WhiteHat Jr is also the largest acquisition, till date, by Byju's . It had previously acquired Osmo, a US-based learning platform, for which it paid $120 million, in January 2019. At the time, the deal was said to be part of the Bengaluru-based firm's plan to aggressively expand internationally. Before that, Byju's had acquired Math Adventures, TutorVista and Vidyarth.

    The Bengaluru-based unicorn, which is valued between $10-$10.5 billion, has also been on a fundraising spree over the course of the current calendar year. Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that DST Global, the investment firm led by Israeli-Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, was in advanced stages of investing an estimated $400 million into the company.

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