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Ebix to enter India's $30 bn digital education market

ANI  |  New Delhi [India] 

Ebix, a 2.5 billion dollar corporation headquartered in Georgia, USA, which is listed on NASDAQ, has announced its 11th acquisition in in less than a year.

Having already deployed USD 300 million to acquire several payments, forex, remittance and companies, is now close to acquiring a majority stake in SmartClass Educational, a in the digital education market for K12.

It may be recalled recently emerged as the highest bidder for Lenders of Educomp have reportedly cleared the proposal, which is now awaiting NCLT approval. Once acquired, will deploy over USD 60 million to turn around the which acquired an enviable reputation for sparking off the digital education revolution in

The deal is strategic because it has a strong sales and distribution team of over 500 people, something that will be valuable for EBIX as it moves forward in its acquisition of Educomp. Educomp, it may be recalled, filed for insolvency in May 2017, had practically stopped doing new for the past two years and had no sales and distribution channel.

Ebix will go head to head with companies such as Byju. Byju is tapping the in India, focused on the large size of the market with over 250 million consumers.

Evidently, investors love this space and as per data visible in the public domain, have reportedly poured over USD 240 million into the still loss making Byju, taking Byju's valuation to over USD 1 billion in its latest funding round.

Will Ebix be able to compete with Byju with investors such as Sequoia, the and China's

"It will all depend upon the quality of the and footprint into schools. The fact is that while Educomp faced debt-related issues, it does have huge goodwill and acquired an early start in the digital classroom market, something an investor with deep pockets can turn around," said a person involved with the negotiations on condition of anonymity.

With Smartclass Educational, Ebix gets a readymade sales and marketing team that can be used to push other Ebix products into from its U.S. headquarters.

According to a recent study, the size of the is over USD 30 billion and the Indian education market will emerge as the largest education market in the world, surpassing and the

Robin Raina, of Ebix, recently announced that he expects India to contribute an ambitious USD 500 million to Ebix global revenues over the next three years. Acquisitions like are one such step forward in fulfilling this goal.

The in the latest budget proposals has announced a USD five billion outlay for equipping every classroom in government schools with SmartBoards. Ebix is certainly taking an early lead.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 01 2018. 10:50 IST