Edtech decacorn Byju’s in talks to acquire US-based online reading platform Epic, according to TechCrunch. The acquisition is expected to help the Bengaluru-based Byju’s to deepen its footprint in the US market.
Epic’s reading platform is built on a collection of over 40,000 popular, high-quality books from more than 250 publishers—with the aim to fuel curiosity and reading confidence for kids 12 and under.
The deal values Epic at “significantly” over $300 million, according to TechCrunch. Byju’s declined to comment on the deal.
Epic was co-founded by Kevin Donahue and Suren Markosian.In the past year, the firm moved from 20 million child readers to more than 50 million. Last year, children read more than one billion books on the platform. Over one million teachers use Epic to assign, track and curate reading. Epic gathers and analyzes real-time anonymized and aggregated data to understand the number of kids that read a book and their interest levels.
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If successful, Epic would be the second acquisition for Byju’s in the U.S market. In 2019, Byju’s also bought the US-based educational gaming company, Osmo, for $120 million in a stock-and-cash deal. Last year in August, Byju’s acquired Mumbai based ed-tech start-up, WhiteHat Jr, which teaches coding to children for $300 million. The firm has a strong business in the US market.
As reported earlier, Byju’s is in talks to raise up to $700 million from new and existing investors in a fresh funding round, which, if successful, would lift the firm’s valuation to about $15 billion from $12 billion at present, sources close to the development said. It has already raised about $460 million in its ongoing Series F round led by MC Global Edtech Investment Holdings LP.
The funding is expected to help Byju’s to fund its acquisitions in India and global markets including the U.S. The firm is seeking to close the deal to acquire exam preparation firm Aakash Educational Services soon. The deal, valued at $700-800 million, would be the biggest in the education space once closed, said sources.