Byju's acquires Mumbai-based ed-tech start-up WhiteHat Jr for $300 mn

This partnership brings together WhiteHat Jr, a popular and unique coding platform and Byju’s variety of offerings, including the school learning app
Byju’s said on Wednesday night that it has acquired Mumbai based ed-tech start-up, WhiteHat Jr, which teaches coding to children. Byju’s has bought the company for $300 million according to DC Advisory (DC), which acted as the exclusive financial advisor to WhiteHat Jr on its sale to the Bengaluru-based education technology company.

This partnership brings together WhiteHat Jr, a popular and unique coding platform and Byju’s variety of offerings, including the school learning app. With coding fast emerging as a key skill for the future, this integration will help Byju’s further expand its offerings in India. This acquisition will also accelerate Byju’s US expansion plans. Byju’s said this partnership is timely with the government pushing skills such as coding from early classes with the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

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. WhiteHat Jr's founder, Karan Bajaj will continue to lead and scale this business in India and the US.

“We started WhiteHat Jr. to make kids creators instead of consumers of technology,” said Karan Bajaj, founder, WhiteHat Jr. “Technology is at the centre of every human interaction today and we had set out to create a coding curriculum that was being delivered live and connected students and teachers like never before. Integration with Byju’s will help take this idea to new heights and help unleash the remarkable creative potential of kids on a global scale,”  he said.

WhiteHat Jr had recently announced plans to expand to other global markets such as Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) after strong growth in the US for its one-to-one online coding classes. After launching their courses in the US, since February this year, the company is growing at more than 100 per cent month-over-month in the country.

Founded in November 2018, WhiteHat Jr helps kids aged 6 to 14 years build commercial-ready games, animations and apps online using the fundamentals of coding. WhiteHat Jr. offers four levels of courses – beginner, intermediate, advanced and professional – for students in grades 1-9. Kids create complex games, animations and apps using logic, structure, sequence, commands and algorithmic thinking—in a live 1:1 online classroom. Early graduates of the course have created professional-ready apps downloadable on the App Store at ages as young as seven years old.

“WhiteHat Jr is the leader in the live online coding space. Karan (Bajaj) 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,” said Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO, Byju’s. “Under his leadership, the company has achieved phenomenal growth in India and the US in a short span of time,” he said.

This is the biggest acquisition for Byju’s. Last year in January, Byju’s bought the US-based educational gaming company, Osmo, for a whopping $120 million in a stock-and-cash deal.

The Covid-19 pandemic has helped Byju’s become a decacorn and cross $10.5 billion valuation after raising new funding from Silicon Valley investor and analyst Mary Meeker's Bond Capital in June this year.

Since the lockdown, Byju’s has seen over 15 million new students start learning from its platform. With the temporary closure of schools due to the ongoing pandemic, Byju’s said it has become one of the only means for students to continue learning.

Last month, the company launched  Byju’s classes, a comprehensive online tutoring programme that addresses the need for personalised after-school learning solutions with scheduled engagement from India’s top teachers, live doubt solving and personalised mentoring.


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