BYJUs and CoinSwitch
Good morning! It's Wednesday and this is a fairly unique newsletter. I’m currently writing the newsletter 30,000 ft in the air as I am currently flying back to Delhi (let’s just hope I can publish this in time. In today’s news, BYJUs makes an interesting acquisition and a crypto company raises capital.
➡️ It certainly seems like EdTech is the gift that keeps giving, and in today’s news, we have a report from Bloomberg that suggests that BYJUs is acquiring Aakash Educational Services- the brick and mortar tutoring company that runs 200 centers.
➡️ This is interesting for a couple of reasons- it shows that maybe BYJUs is thinking about expanding into physical centers for education in the future instead of just being an online education platform; and secondly, it is quite a large acquisition- $1B (a significant premium from when Blackstone acquired a 37.5% stake in 2019 for $500M)
➡️ The last two years for BYJUS have been very eventful- it has raised over $800M from investors across the globe (including Tiger Global, Bond, DST Global, General Atlantic and Silver Lake), turned profitable in 2019 and even acquired the infamous coding for kids startup WhiteHat Jr for $300M.
➡️ The platform now serves over 70M students, and the company is now one of India’s largest startups and probably the largest EdTech startup globally. And as the company has hit a critical mass of students on the platform (K-12 + competitive exams), it’ll be interesting to see how they expand in 2021 and beyond.
➡️ The last couple of months have seen an increase in investing activity in the crypto space in India, and today CoinSwitch Kuber announced it raised a $15M Series A from Ribbit Capital and Paradigm. Existing investors Sequoia Capital and Kunal Shah also participated in the round.
➡️ This is notably Ribbit’s first crypto bet in India and is also Paradigm’s (a crypto-focused fund started by one of Coinbase’s cofounders) first investment in India. The company plans to use the capital to enhance the product, the platform’s security and become India’s de-facto crypto investment platform.
➡️ It’s also worth noting that CoinSwitch is a global aggregator of exchanges but launched their India product last June. Since then, over a million users have already joined the platform and the company expects to grow that by 10 in the next year.
➡️ I am by no means an expert in the space so won’t comment much on it, but will definitely say that it’s great to see companies in the space growing and raising capital. I remember a couple years ago when a bunch of companies in the space were struggling and decided to pivot to different product, but its great to see the nascent crypto industry in India grow.
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