Exclusive: Byju’s completes Toppr, Gradeup acquisitions

Exclusive: Byju’s completes Toppr, Gradeup acquisitions
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Byju’s, the Bengaluru based edtech and India’s most valuable unicorn, has completed the acquisitions of school-focused exam-preparation platform Toppr and Gradeup, a test platform for competitive examinations, sources aware of the development told TechCircle.

The transaction will create exits for early investors in Toppr, one of the investors confirmed.

Multiple reports have put the proposed acquisition of Toppr at nearly $150 million. The Gradeup acquisition has been valued at $40-$50 million, according to media reports.

TechCircle could not independently ascertain the valuation of each of the acquisitions.

In a townhall last month, Gradeup CEO Shobhit Bhatnagar told employees that the company plans to start co-branding with Byju’s as soon as later this month or early August.

Gradeup was founded in 2015 by Bhatnagar, Sajeev Kumar and Vibhu Bhushan and provides competitive examination aspirants with live classes and test series. The company is backed by Times Internet Limited.

With respect to Toppr, it wasn’t immediately clear whether Zishaan Hayath and Hemanth Goteti, who cofounded the Mumbai based startup in 2013, will continue to work with the entity post acquisition.

Toppr last raised $46.7 million in a growth round led by Foundation Holdings in 2020. Toppr’s early investors which include Eight Roads Ventures India, Helion Venture Partners and Elevation Capital (previously known as SAIF Partners India) are expected to exit the company with the acquisition, said one of the sources.

Emailed queries to Toppr, Gradeup and Byju’s  were unanswered at the time of publishing this report. 

“At a macro level the acquisitions are aimed at creating an edtech ecosystem, from Byju’s just being a K12 player to capturing the ecosystem. They would like to have coding, competitive examinations and other services – all to extract more value from the customers they have already acquired,” said an investor associated with a growth-stage fund that has backed several edtech companies.

He further added that Byju’s decisions are also driven by their preference to buy over building companies to be a one-stop destination for education.

Byju’s previously acquired online code learning platform Whitehat Jr in 2020 for $300 million in an all cash deal, followed by the acquisition of offline test prep platform Aakash Educational Services (AESL) in 2021.