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Byju's acquires Aakash Educational Services for nearly $1 billion

Aims to bolster its presence in the offline test preparation segment.

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NEW DELHI: Aiming to bolster its presence in the offline test preparation segment, Indian ed-tech leader Byju's has acquired Aakash Educational Services (AESL). The deal is apparently worth $1 billion, making it the biggest acquisition by Byju's to date. 

Aakash Educational Services is a 33-year-old chain of physical coaching centers, and with this acquisition, Byju's hopes to accelerate its offline growth. Backed by Blackstone, Aakash has more than 200 operational physical tutoring centers in India. 

"This will be the largest integration in the education space in India, especially in the startup space. Covid has really opened the gates to online education significantly and going forward, we believe that all kinds of models in education will exist in K-12, test prep, and even higher education," AESL managing director Aakash Chaudhry told PTI. 

Chaudhry added that the merger could help to deliver education through multiple channels, both offline and online. He asserted that Byju's will make further investments to accelerate the growth of Aakash after the integration. AESL will continue operating as a separate entity and will expand its operations in the country, he clarified.

"Our complementary strengths will enable us to build capabilities, create engaging and personalised learning programs. The future of learning is hybrid and this union will bring together the best of offline and online learning, as we combine our expertise to create impactful experiences for students," said Byju's CEO Byju Raveendran, as quoted by The Times of India. 

Already touted as the biggest player in India’s booming ed-tech space, Byju's had acquired TutorVista and Edurite from Pearson in 2017, and Osmo in 2019. Last year, the company bought up coding training platform Whitehat Jr for $300 million. 

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