Byju’s said to be in talks to acquire smaller rival Doubtnut: Report

Photo: Reuters

Indian edtech unicorn Byju’s is in talks to acquire smaller rival Doubtnut as it looks to enhance its reach and expand offerings in smaller cities and towns across the country, per media reports.

According to a report in TechCrunch, the acquisition is expected to value the Gurugram-based edtech platform Doubtnut anywhere between $125 million and $150 million.  The talks are at an initial stage and contours of the deal are still being worked out.

Founded in October 2017 by Tanushree Nagori and Shankar, Doubtnut caters to K-12, IIT JEE and NEET students. It offers a multi-lingual online learning platform that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies for image recognition, natural language processing and to provide video-based solutions in response to students’ queries. Students can simply upload a photo of their problem and the Doubtnut app serves up a video of the solution within 10 seconds.

As of January 2020, the startup had over 13 million monthly active users across several platforms (web, app, Youtube and Whatsapp). More than 85% of its users at the time came from outside of the top 10 cities in India, the startup said in a statement then.

Doubtnut had raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Tencent Holdings in January. The round had also seen the participation of existing investors Omidyar Network India, AET, Japan and Ankit Nagori (Co-founder Cure.Fit, Ex-CBO Flipkart) and Sequoia Capital India. Both share Tencent as a common investor.

Meanwhile, Byju’s boasts of over 57 million registered students, more than 3.5 million paid subscribers. It recently added Mary Meeker’s technology investment firm Bond to its investors’ list, reportedly at a valuation of about $10.5 billion. The company has so far raised $1.4 billion in external funding, per data available with Crunchbase.

 

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.