Indian online educational services company Byju’s is focused on global expansion and has aggressive plans for the US market. It first expanded internationally by launching a live online one-on-one learning platform, Byju’s Future School, in May 2021. The service was initially launched in the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico.
Byju’s has been on a global and local acquisition drive as the Covid-19 pandemic increased the popularity of online education, and students and professionals sought to upgrade their skills while schools and offices were closed. Byju’s has acquired nine companies in India and the US this year, spending more than $2 billion. The inorganic route to expansion has helped Byju’s become the world’s most valuable edtech start-up, with a valuation approaching $21bn.
Byju’s targets the US market
Byju’s is still aggressively exploring acquisition prospects in the US, the UK, and Australia to expand its service, intending to add unique video content that will appeal to its target demographic.
It has had aspirations to go global since 2019, when it acquired Osmo, a US-based educational game system that produces augmented reality games for mobile devices, for $120 million. It made its second acquisition in the US by purchasing Epic, a digital reading platform company, for $500 million in July 2021. This acquisition added Epic’s user base to its edtech footprint. Most recently, Byju’s acquired US-based K-12 creative coding platform Tynker in September 2021, further increasing its presence in the US market. The acquisition will give the company access to over 100,000 schools and more than 60 million students.
The acquisitions of Epic and Tynker will lead to significant investments in digital technology to help additional personalized learning for students and allow Byju’s to become an integral part of US learning culture.
Can acquisitions bring success in the US?
Acquisitions, when done correctly, help meet critical objectives, which eventually lead to significant potential for growth and profitability. Byju’s has acquired companies that resemble its current business model and offer a logical extension of the services it already offers.
While Byju’s focus is to expand into international markets to scale and build a global brand, it is also working on creating learning programs in regional languages to provide access to quality content for students in the remotest parts of India. The rapid expansion into two completely diverse market segments could be tricky to manage.
Numerous acquisitions also bring challenges around consolidation, such as dealing with cultural differences. Byju’s may face integration issues internally, which could potentially impact its growth plans. But having acquired nine companies in 2021 alone, Byju’s seems to be having few issues digesting them. Further acquisitions are likely to follow in the remainder of 2021 and into 2022.