Bengaluru: India's Unicorn learning startup Byju's has acquired US based digital reading platform called Epic for $500 million.
The deal is backed by General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, Silver Lake, Tiger Global and other investors.
Fine details of the deal are yet to be revealed but a report said that 160 staff and two co-founders from Epic will join Byju's.
Byju's believes that the acquisition will help expand its US footprint by providing access to the more than two million teachers and 50 million kids in Epic's existing global user-base, which more than doubled over the last year.
According to its website, Epic's digital platform offers a collection of over 40,000 popular titles from over 250 publishers. These books are published for kids below the age of 12.
Post the acquisition, Epic will remain an individual entity and the co-founders were quoted as saying that they want to make their business a global brand.
This acquisition will be the second biggest in the timeline of Byju's. The first being test preparation firm Aakash Educational Services for $950 million in April 2021.
Last year, Byju's had also acquired Indian startup WhiteHat Jr for $300 million.
The acquisition is interesting considering it brings the Zuckerberg siblings closer. In 2016, the Chan Zuckerberg initiative led a round of investments in Byju's. This was the first investment for the Mark Zuckerberg led foundation in Asia.
Randi Zuckerberg, the sister to the Facebook founder is a part of the advisory board at Epic. She has been an investor since 2014.
"Our mission is to fuel curiosity and make students fall in love with learning. Knowing that Epic and its products are rooted in the same mission, it was a natural fit. Together we have the opportunity to create impactful experiences for children to become life-long learners," Byju's founder and CEO Byju Raveendran said.
Epic CEO Suren Markosian said, "The alignment of our missions and shared passion makes Byju's the perfect partner, as we're confident this acquisition will ignite excitement for learning around the world."
The edtech company is among India's most valuable unicorns with a valuation of $16.5 billion. As per CB Insights data, as of June 2021, Byju's was the 11th most valuable start-up in the world.
*With agency inputs