Indian edtech giant Byju’s said Thursday that the company and its subsidiaries are not teaming up with rival Unacademy to explore a takeover or merger.
Indian news channel MoneyControl reported rather that Byju’s physical tutor unit Aakash is in talks to take over Unacademy. “We strongly deny that Byju’s is considering a merger of Unacademy with Aakash Educational Services. As a parent company, BYJU’S is committed to investing in the growth of Aakash Educational Services, which is growing at more than 50% year-on-year,” a Byju spokesperson said in a statement.
“We have had absolutely no discussions with Unacademy or any other player to merge with Aakash Educational Services. Aakash is a market leader in our segment with an impeccable track record of delivery and results and we are focused on our organic growth and delivery to the lakhs of students who have trusted us,” said an Aakash spokesperson.
Valued at $3.44 billion, SoftBank-backed Unacademy is one of the largest edtech startups in India. The Bengaluru-headquartered startup has cut its costs significantly as the startup tries to become profitable in the coming quarters.
Unacademy “always raised more money than needed” to “continuously experiment and grow our platform without worrying about when the money runs out,” Unacademy co-founder and CEO Gaurav Munjal told employees last year. “But now we have to change our ways. […] Winter is here.”
Byju’s, India’s most valuable startup, is instead in advanced talks with bankers including Citi and Goldman Sachs to go ahead with the Aakash IPO, according to a source familiar with the case and presentations from banks and viewed by businessupdates.org.
Byju’s has received board approval to go ahead with the IPO of Aakash, which it acquired for nearly $1 billion last year, and is preparing to file the paperwork, the source said, asking for anonymity as the case is private.