Indian edtech unicorn Byju’s to expand to SE Asia, Latin America

Byju Raveendran of Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd that runs edutech start-up Byju’s. Photo: Mint

Indian edtech unicorn, BYJU’s, on Thursday said it is expanding its presence in Latin America and Southeast Asian markets, through the launch of its new one-on-one live tutoring platform, ‘BYJU’s Future School’.

Through this launch, BYJU’s will team up with WhiteHat Jr to offer students personalised learning in areas of Math, Science, Coding, Music, Fine Arts among others, for kindergarten to eighth grade (K-8) students.

WhiteHat Jr., acquired by BYJU’s in 2019, will continue to offer its core kids coding platform in India, while looking at expanding to international geographies through the newly integrated ‘BYJU’s Future School’ platform.

In line with its international expansion, BYJU’s has started hiring its leadership team in these countries including Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, the US, the UK and Australia.

The company now expects almost 50% of its revenues to come from international markets in the next three to four fiscals, said company co-founder Byju Raveendran to Mint.

“It makes logical sense to foray in international markets under a single identity and brand name, which will offer a synchronous unified experience to students under one umbrella platform of BYJU’s Future School. While in India, BYJU’s has a strong brand recall for math learning, and WhiteHat Jr. for learning how to code. We are still exploring what aspects of these brands can be integrated in the home market,” added Raveendran.

The co-founder also said that for the next two to three years, the compNy will focus on scaling up its international operations. It is now scouting to make a few acquisitions to bolster its operations in these geographies.

“We have been in Mexico for six weeks now and already scaled it to 170 teachers, with 20-30 teachers being added to our ‘Future School’ offering every day. Students are also growing in thousands. Therefore, we realised that the model is scalable both from a demand and supply perspective. We were holding back our international expansion to launch this integrated experience,” said Karan Bajaj, founder of WhiteHat Jr., who will also be focusing on BYJU’s international expansion.

For non-english speaking markets of Latin America and South-east Asia, the company will provide learning sessions in localised languages, sourcing teachers locally.

BYJU’s expansion comes at a time when it is focusing actively on growth, as it looks to bolster its presence across new categories of edtech in its home market of India. Earlier this week, BYJU’s acquired Aakash Educational Services Ltd (AESL) for about $1 billion, in what is touted to be the most expensive acquisition in the Indian edtech space.

With the acquisition, BYJU’s has entered the competitive test preparation market, taking on rivals Unacademy and Amazon India. Last year, rival Unacademy made close to six acquisitions in the test prep space, while Amazon India made an entry in the segment with Amazon Academy.

In a recent interaction, Raveendran had said the company is focused on taking its K-12 offerings to international markets first, as it looks to double down on the test prep space in India.

He added that the company is considering an option of going public in the next 18-24 months, dependent on market conditions.

The article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

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

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  • 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. 
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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.