Continuing on its aggressive inorganic growth run, BYJU’s has acquired Epic, a Redwood City, California based digital reading platform for children for $500 million (Rs 3,730 crore per current exchange rates). The Bengaluru headquartered edtech has earmarked investments up to $1 billion for expansion in the North American market.
Epic was founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur Suren Markosian and former Google executive Kevin Donahue. The digital reading platform brings together over 40,000 books and videos from over 250 publishers on its platform targeted at children under 12 years of age. The co-founders will continue to run the platform after the acquisition, BYJU’s said in a statement on Wednesday.
With the acquisition, BYJU’s base of two million teachers will have access to 50 million children who are a part of Epic’s global user base, the statement said.
“Our partnership with Epic will enable us to create engaging and interactive reading and learning experiences for children globally,” CEO and co-founder Byju Raveendran said. He further added, “Knowing that Epic and its products are rooted in the same mission, it was a natural fit. Together we have the opportunity to create impactful experiences for children to become life-long learners.”
In April, BYJU’s announced the launch of its global live online learning platform to target geographies including the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico. The multi-disciplinary platform called BYJU’s Future School targets students in the age group of six and 18-year-olds.
In 2019, BYJU’s has acquired Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence backed digital learning platform for kids, Osmo, headquartered in the US for $120 million.
“We created Epic to make quality books more accessible to kids everywhere, and to build a safe place for them to discover the joy and magic of reading in their own way. The alignment of our missions and shared passion makes BYJU’S the perfect partner, as we’re confident this acquisition will ignite excitement for learning around the world,” Epic CEO Suren Markosian said in the statement.
BYJU’s, operated by Think & Learn Pvt Ltd, was valued at $16.5 billion in June after its recent fundraise of $340 million led by Abu Dhabi’s state entity ADQ (formerly known as Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company). The company which started by offering live learning and online tests for K-12 students has made multiple acquisitions for inorganic expansion across sectors.
To expand its omni-channel play, BYJU’s acquired offline test-prep major, Aakash Educational Services in April. BYJU’s is also said to have completed the acquisition of Toppr and Gradeup, which are yet to be announced formally.