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Byju’s acquires 18 months old WhiteHat Jr for $300 Mn

Edtech has been the hottest sector during the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost every growth stage startup in the space raised funding in the past few months. Among them, Byju’s raked in over $400 million this year. The company, which is in the advanced stage to take over doubt clearing platform Doubtnut, has just announced the acquisition of WhiteHat Jr for $300 million.

This has turned out to be the biggest acquisition in the Indian startup ecosystem in 2020. Both companies were in talks for the past four-five weeks. The acquisition will help Byju’’s to expand its offerings in India and to push coding skills from early classes in line with the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020. 

After the transaction, 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. WhiteHat Jr. founder, Karan Bajaj will continue to lead and scale this business in India and the US, said the company in a press statement.

A brainchild of Bajaj, former CEO of Discovery Networks South Asia, WhiteHat Jr has scaled up rapidly. It imparts coding skills to school children and claims to have 45% month on month growth since the launch of its first product in Feb 2019. 

The company started with a coding curriculum for children in grade 1 to 7, which include 35-40 minute online one to one live classes developing logic. These classes then progress to basic block coding and syntax coding when the children grasp the logic. It also launched an advanced curriculum for students for 10-12 grades which involves learning python algorithms, artificial intelligence and building full-fledged applications. 

Besides India, the company started overseas operations in countries including Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) after a quick growth in the US for its one-to-one online coding classes. As of now, WhiteHat Jr has raised $10 million in its Series A round from Nexus Venture Partners, Omidyar Network India and Owl Ventures within the first six months of its operations. 

During an interaction with Entrackr in May, WhiteHat Jr said that it became cash-flow positive with gross bookings of Rs 45 crore and a customer base of 20,000 students in FY20. The acquisition will offer a hefty exit to its backers.

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