BYJU’S to acquire Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) through a strategic merger
● Partnership to combine BYJU’S leadership in Education Technology and AESL’s expertise in test prep services to create greater value for the student community.
● Founders Mr J.C. Chaudhry and Mr Aakash Chaudhry to continue to spearhead AESL’s growth and expansion.
● Aakash Founders and Blackstone to become shareholders in BYJU’S
Hyderabad, 5th April, 2021: BYJU’S, world’s leading ed-tech company today announced its strategic partnership with Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL), a leader in test prep services.
This partnership brings together two of the largest and most-trusted education brands in India – combining Aakash’s pedagogy expertise in the test-prep segment with BYJU’S content and tech capabilities. After the integration, BYJU’S will make further investments to accelerate Aakash’s growth.
With over 33 years of experience, Aakash has built a highly effective learning ecosystem that has helped millions of young aspirants get into the country’s best institutions. In 2019, AESL partnered with Blackstone to create India’s largest digitally enabled, omni-channel test preparation company. Under the phenomenal leadership of its Founder Mr J.C. Chaudhry and Mr Aakash Chaudhry, it will continue to function independently.
Mr Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO, BYJU’S said, “I am happy to have Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL), a market leader and the most trusted name in the test prep services, on board with us. Our complementary strengths will enable us to build capabilities, create engaging and personalised learning programs. The future of learning is hybrid and this union will bring together the best of offline and online learning, as we combine our expertise to create impactful experiences for students.”
Byju further added, “The pandemic has brought the importance of the blended format of learning to the forefront. As we unite our forces to bring together decades of expertise and experience, this partnership will further accelerate Aakash’s growth and success.”
Mr Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, AESL said “At Aakash, we are looking to transform student experiences by steering innovative and digitally-enabled learning solutions. Together with BYJU’S, we will work towards building an omni-channel learning offering that will accelerate test-prep experience to the next level. While this partnership will enhance our operational verticals, Aakash will continue to operate as a separate entity with the same passion and commitment with which its Founder & Chairman Mr. J C Chaudhry incepted it. We are excited to partner with BYJU’S, and will strive to deliver long-term value to our students, employees, investors, and other stakeholders.”
The addition of Aakash is a significant step towards strengthening BYJU’S product offering. It reiterates the company’s focus on creating impactful learning products for students by adding more verticals, subjects, and languages to the same platform.
Mr Amit Dixit, Co-Head of Asia Acquisitions and Head of India Private Equity at Blackstone, said “We invested in AESL because it is one of the leading education brands in India with a professional management team, best-in-class corporate governance and a 33-year track-record of exceptional results. We have always believed omni-channel will be the winning model in test prep and tutoring, and we look forward to being a part of the partnership between the two foremost companies in Indian supplementary education – Aakash and BYJU’S. The combination of Aakash and BYJU’S is highly synergistic and we are excited to help build India’s largest education company.”
With over 215+ centres, Aakash provides test preparatory services to students preparing for medical and engineering entrance exams, school/board exams, KVPY, NTSE, Olympiads, and other Foundation level exams. Known for its integrated teaching methodology and focused learning environment, Aakash has built a tradition of excellence and has helped millions of students embark on successful learning journeys.
Launched in 2015, BYJU’S is the leader in offering personalised learning programs for school students in India. With over 80 million students cumulatively learning from the app, 5.5 million annual paid subscriptions, and an annual renewal rate of 86%, the app creates personalized learning programs for individual students based on their proficiency levels and capabilities which help them learn at their own pace and style. In just 6 months during the lockdown, BYJU’S has added 45 million new students on its platform.
Over the years, Aakash has built and maintained the highest standards of teaching, result-oriented test preparation for some of the toughest entrance exams like JEE, NEET, NTSE etc. with its expert faculty. Unified by a shared vision to create value for the student community and boost the learning ecosystem, this integration will help accelerate and scale Aakash’s growth in the test prep industry.
EY was the exclusive financial advisor for BYJU’S on this transaction. Phoenix Advisers was the exclusive advisor for the AESL.
About Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL)
Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) provides comprehensive test preparatory services for students preparing for Medical and Engineering Entrance Examinations, School/Board Exams and Competitive Exams such as NTSE, KVPY, and Olympiads. AESL believes that the “Aakash” brand is associated with quality coaching and a proven student selection track record in various Medical and Engineering Entrance Examinations, Scholarship exams & Olympiads.
With over 33 years of operational experience in the test preparatory industry, the company has a large number of selections in Medical & Engineering Entrance Exams and several Class 9th and 10th level Scholarship exams/Olympiads, a pan India network of 215+ Aakash Centers (including franchisee), and a student count of more than 250,000.
The Aakash group also owns the famous K-12 EdTech brand, Meritnation.com as well.
BYJU’S is India’s largest ed-tech company and the creator of India’s most loved school learning app which offers highly adaptive, engaging and effective learning programs for students in LKG, UKG, classes 1 -12 (K-12) and competitive exams like JEE, NEET and IAS.
BYJU’S launched its flagship product, BYJU’S – The Learning App, for classes 4-12 in 2015. Today, the app has over 80 million registered students and 5.5 million annual paid subscriptions. With an average time of 71 minutes being spent by a student on the app every day from 1700+ cities, the app is creating a whole new way of learning through visual lessons. The Disney BYJU’S Early Learn App was launched in June 2019, a special offering from BYJU’S for students in classes 1-3 featuring Disney’s timeliness characters. In early 2019, BYJU’S acquired Osmo, a Palo Alto based maker of educational games to transform the whole offline to online learning experience. BYJU’S also acquired White Hat Jr in 2020, a Mumbai-based programming start-up focused on empowering children with coding skills.
BYJU’S has been backed by strong and prominent investors like Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, CPPIB, General Atlantic, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Verlinvest, IFC, Aarin Capital, TimesInternet, Lightspeed ventures, Tiger Global, Owl Ventures & Qatar Investment Authority.
Delivering a world-class learning experience, programs from BYJU’S are making learning contextual and visual. The apps have been designed to adapt to the unique learning style of every student, as per the pace, size and style of learning. BYJU’S is paving the way for new-age, geography-agnostic learning tools that sit at the cross section of mobile, interactive content and personalised learning methodologies. BYJU’S is also the official sponsor of the Indian Cricket Team.