India’s Vedantu not in talks to sell to Byju’s, top exec says

Indian online learning platform Vedantu is not engaging to sell the firm to edtech giant Byju’s, a top executive said on Friday.

A report by Indian news outlet Entrackr said early Friday that Byju’s had offered $700 million to $800 million to acquire Bangalore-based Vedantu, which counts Accel and GGV Capital among its investors.

In a conversation with TechCrunch, Vedantu co-founder and chief executive Vamsi Krishna said any speculation around the firm engaging with Byju’s for an acquisition or merger is “absolutely 100% inaccurate.”

Byju’s, which has acquired over half a dozen startups this year, declined to comment.

India’s most valuable startup, Byju’s, has held conversations with multiple education firms in recent quarters as the Bangalore-headquartered giant looks to expand its footprint and broaden its product offerings — by both organic and inorganic means.

The startup did reach out to both Unacademy and Vedantu last year and offered them both roughly $1 billion each, according to four people familiar with the matter. But Byju’s and Vedantu haven’t re-engaged this year, one of them said.

Vedantu is separately in advanced stages to close a new financing round that would value it at over $1 billion, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. The round is expected to close within weeks, they said.

Scores of young startups have cropped up in recent years to tap the education market in India, where more than 200 million individuals go to schools. Vedantu, Unacademy and Byju’s lead the market, and younger firms including Teachmint and Classplus have reported accelerated growth in recent quarters as more students adopt online learning platforms in light of the pandemic.

India’s K-12 education market is expected to grow 2.5x and expand to $120 billion by 2025, analysts at Bernstein said in a report to clients last week. “Online K-12 education is expected to grow 7x by 2025, reach $5 billion market driven by the strong growth in user base, increase in online penetration and expanding product offerings,” they wrote.