Byju’s, India’s most valuable start-up, has acquired US-based digital reading platform Epic for $500 million, strengthening its position in the education technology (edtech) sector.
The acquisition will help Byju’s expand its US footprint by providing access to the more than two million teachers and 50 million kids in Epic’s existing global user base, which more than doubled over the last year, it said.
“Epic’s model for inspiring the next generation through interactive reading is in lockstep with our mission to help millions of children become life-long learners. We welcome Epic’s talented leadership team and employees to the Byju’s family as we endeavour to help students fall in love with learning across the world,” said Anita Kishore, chief strategy officer of Byju’s.
Byju’s was valued at $16.5 billion in June, surpassing fintech company Paytm’s $16 billion valuation. According to the CB Insights data, as of June, Byju’s was the 11th most valuable start-up in the world. The platform has more than 100 million students worldwide.
Epic, meant for children up to 12 years of age, has a collection of over 40,000 popular, high-quality books, audiobooks, and videos from more than 250 of the world’s best publishers available on subscription.
Epic CEO Suren Markosian and co-founder Kevin Donahue will remain in their roles.
“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,” said Markosian.
Byju’s said Epic would help its plans of international and US market expansion. The company has set aside $1 billion for investing in North America.
“Our partnership with Epic will enable us to create engaging and interactive reading and learning experiences for children globally…Together we have the opportunity to create impactful experiences for children to become life-long learners,” said Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO, Byju’s.
Last month, Byju’s announced it would bring its learning app featuring Disney characters to the US. The Disney-licensed product has been tested in India for a couple of years, it said.
Earlier this year, Byju’s bought Aakash Educational Services Limited for $1 billion, one of the largest acquisitions in the sector globally.