Karan Bajaj, the founder and chief executive of WhiteHat Jr, is leaving the firm a year after selling the startup for $300 million to Indian edtech giant Byju’s.
In an email to employees on Wednesday, Bajaj and Byju’s founder and chief executive Byju Raveendran said the departure follows a “mutually decided” decision made at the time of acquisition of WhiteHat Jr.
Chatter about Bajaj leaving the firm has been floating around for more than a quarter. TechCrunch inquired Byju’s in early April if Bajaj was going to leave the firm, a detail India’s most valuable startup dismissed as false at the time.
Days later, Byju’s announced it was rebranding its international business as Byju’s Future School and Bajaj as its leader.
In the email today, Raveendran said, “while I wish he would’ve stayed longer, Karan is a force of nature and accustomed to making unconventional choices, as you all know, and I wish him only the best for what will surely be an exciting path ahead.”
Raveendran said Trupti Mukker, who previously oversaw the customer experience at WhiteHat Jr, will now be leading WhiteHat Jr.
WhiteHat Jr, which teaches coding, math and science to students in several markets including India, Australia and the U.S., is one of the fastest-growing edtech startups in India. The startup has also drawn attention because of its unusual step to sue critics.
“All in all, I’m truly very excited for your path ahead and deeply grateful for allowing me to be a part of your lives for this intense, challenging but deeply satisfying period we experience together,” wrote Bajaj to employees today.
Byju’s has made a series of acquisitions — including those of U.S.-based Epic, physical coaching centre chain Aakash and Asian edtech Great Learning — in recent months as the Indian edtech giant looks to aggressively expand into new markets and broaden its product offerings.
In the U.S, Byju’s now has three businesses that he expects would clock $100 million in revenues each this year, he told TechCrunch in a recent interview.
He said the startup acquires other firms and helps them supercharge their growth and the original founding teams continue to oversee those operations.