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Indian edtech decacorn Byju’s buys US-based coding startup Tynker to strengthen presence overseas

Written by Moulishree Srivastava Published on     3 mins read

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Byju’s has set aside USD 1 billion to invest in the American edtech market over the next three years.

Less than two months after acquiring California-based reading platform Epic in a USD 500 million cash-and-stock deal, Indian edtech decacorn Byju’s has bought another US startup, Tynker, which runs a creative coding platform for school students.

The two companies have “entered into a definitive agreement” which will further accelerate Byju’s market expansion in the US, the Bengaluru-based edtech giant said, in a statement, on Thursday. The firm did not disclose the deal size, but a source-based report by local media Economic Times puts it at around USD 150–200 million.

Founded by Krishna Vedati, Srinivas Mandyam, and Kelvin Chong in 2013, Tynker has been used by over 60 million kids and 100,000 schools across 150 countries, the statement said.

“The acquisition will enable Tynker to introduce its creative coding platform to even more kids, educators, schools, and coding camps globally,” it added. Post the merger, all co-founders are expected to continue with their current roles.

This is Byju’s third acquisition in the US. The company made its first-ever purchase in the US in 2019 when it picked up educational game maker Osmo for USD 120 million. This year, it bought Epic to gain access to the digital reading platform’s two million teachers and 50 million user base in the US. All three acquisitions fit into Byju’s grand ambition of going global. The edtech major has already set aside USD 1 billion to invest in the American edtech market over the next three years.

“With the USD 1 billion, we will also be investing in scaling these platforms—building brand awareness for Byju’s in the US in the next 12 to 18 months,” said Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of Byju’s, in an interview with local media Economic Times. 

Notably, Byju’s had scooped up Indian coding platform WhiteHat Jr for USD 300 million last year, after the latter entered the US market. Leveraging the three-year-old platform, Byju’s announced the global launch of its live online learning platform in April 2021, targeting countries like the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico, to begin with. Its overseas initiative was headed by WhiteHat Jr co-founder Karan Bajaj, who left Byju’s earlier in August, a year after joining hands with the edtech giant.

“What we are getting here is a strong asynchronous platform complementing synchronous expertise which we have through WhiteHat Jr—a combination of this creates more options for students,” said Byju.

Byju’s has been on the buying spree since the beginning of 2021. Tynker is its ninth acquisition in 2021. Overall, it has gobbled up 15 startups since its inception in 2011. To fund its growing M&A appetite, the company has raised almost USD 2 billion since the beginning of 2021.

The decade-old company—backed by marquee investors like Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, General Atlantic, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, and Qatar Investment Authority—emerged as the country’s most valuable startup at USD 16.5 billion in June 2021 when it raised USD 350 million round from UBS, racing past the SoftBank-backed payments platform Paytm. It is currently planning to raise USD 1.5 billion at a valuation of around USD 21 billion.

These developments come at a time when Byju’s is targeting public markets. The company is reportedly looking to file  documents with the Indian market regulator as early as the second quarter of next year, aiming to achieve a valuation of USD 40–50 billion for the listing,

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