Byju’s has been on an acquisition spree for the past 12 months. Since August, the Bengaluru-based edtech major has acquired WhiteHat Jr, Aakash Educational Services, Scholr and is in advanced talks to acquire Toppr, Great Learning and Gradeup. According to two sources aware of the development, the largest valued edtech firm Byju’s has now acquired HashLearn, an online coaching platform for competitive exams.
Founded by education entrepreneur Jayadev Gopalakrishnan and technologist Gokul Janga, HashLearn lets students get free 24/7 tutoring with the help of their mobile app. The app allows students to connect instantly and have their subject-related doubts solved by tutors from institutions such as the IIT and BITS. According to the company’s website, it offers free and paid subscriptions for students to access its content. The company claims that more than three lakh students have joined the platform since its inception.
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HashLearn’s balance sheet for the period FY 19-20 shows that the company was in dire straits financially. It had outstanding losses of Rs 3.5 crore which had caused complete erosion of its net worth. Its revenue from operations had also dropped by 90% from Rs 2.38 crore in FY19 to only Rs 24.02 Lakhs in FY20. The company had also reduced its annual expenditure by 52.02% to Rs 2.02 crore in FY20 and still lost Rs 1.76 crore during the same period.
Regulatory filings also show that the company held an extraordinary general meeting on January 9, 2021, and passed a special resolution to transfer all of its intellectual property rights to Byju’s upon acquisition of its ultimate holding entity Hash Education Inc.
HashLearn was a part of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator program in November 2016. The company had also raised its undisclosed seed round from Binny Bansal, Anupam Mittal, Rajan Anandan, Bhavish Aggarwal, Sunil Kalra, Singapore Angel Network and others in March 2016.
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The acquisition will strengthen Byju’s dominance in the segment where parents usually spend large amounts on their children’s education. The company had splurged over $1.3 billion on acquisitions in the past year.
Meanwhile, Byju’s looks set to become the most valued startup in India surpassing Paytm which is valued at $16 billion. According to media reports, it will raise about $150 million from UBS Group at a valuation of $16.5 billion.