Indian edtech unicorn Byju’s in talks to acquire US coding firm Tynker

Photo: Screenshot from Byju's website

Edtech unicorn Byju’s is in late-stage talks to acquire US-based coding platform for kids, Tynker, in a cash-and-stock deal, two people aware of the discussions said, in what would be its ninth acquisition so far this year.

This will also mark the third acquisition of Byju’s in the US following the $120 million deal for educational gaming company Osmo in January 2019 and the recent purchase of Epic, a reading app for kids, for $500 million.

If the latest deal fructifies, Tynker will be Byju’s second acquisition in the coding segment for kids after the $300 million deal for WhiteHat Jr in India in August last year.

“Byju’s is aggressively looking to double down in the US as it looks to derive strategic value from the market. It is charting big plans currently for ramping up its presence in North America and has started focusing on kids’ learning,” one of the two people said, on condition of anonymity. Neither of the two disclosed the potential value of the transaction. Moneycontrol had first reported Byju’s plans for Tynker. A spokesperson for Byju’s declined to comment on Mint’s queries regarding the acquisition. Tynker could not be immediately reached for comment.

Tynker provides a creative coding platform for kids in kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12), enabling them to develop programming skills. It also provides gamified learning models to help children develop coding skills.

The platform claims to offer more than 4,100 learning modules and more than 60 million kids use its platform across 150 countries, with 90,000 schools globally leveraging its curriculum.

Byju’s currently has more than 100 million registered students and 6.5 million paid subscribers. It has already spent more than $2.2 billion to acquire edtechs in domains of upskilling, test prep and higher learning this year.

Earlier in August, Mint reported, citing sources, that Byju’s was in talks to raise between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in a new fundraise, which could value the Indian edtech company at $21 billion.

Byju’s raised $350 million from UBS, Blackstone, Abu Dhabi state fund ADQ and Phoenix Rising in June, which propelled its valuation to $16.5 billion, making it the most-valued startup in India.

Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, the parent of Byjus’s, reported 2,380 crore income in FY20, compared with 1,305 crore in FY19, according to the latest available data. The company also reported a consolidated net loss of 262 crore, compared with 8.82 crore in the same period.

This article was first published on livemint.

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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).

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  • 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. 
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