The Indian ed-tech space is shrinking significantly due to cutthroat competition and the popping up of many free ed-tech alternatives on YouTube. Byju’s, one of the ed-tech giants in India, has started transforming its business. BYJU has asked to lay off 300 employees at its Topper learning management system and an additional 300 at coding tutorial platform WhiteHat Junior as part of a major restructuring.
Last year, BYJU’S acquired ed-tech firm Topper for $150 million. In addition to Topper, they bought at least 10 other companies with a cumulative valuation of about $2.5 billion.
Although the entire workforce was not laid off, some professionals from Topper’s advertising and distribution sectors were allowed to continue with BYJU’s.
“We are optimising our workforce to accelerate achievements and aligning with our objectives to ideally prepare the organisation for long-term success,” Byju’s media team said in a comment.
About a year ago, BYJU spent $1 billion to buy offline education giant Aakash Institute, a Delhi-based company that specializes in offline education to prepare students for various exams like IIT-JEE or NEET.
A spokesperson of the corporation told, “Acquisition of Aakash Institute is fully on schedule and all the transactions to the investors are to be completed by the stipulated time i.e. August 2022.” The business representative continued, “Aakash institute is one of our best purchases to date, and we are delighted to have them on board.”
It is not only BYJU that is facing difficulties, many other ed-tech companies like Unacademy, Vedantu, Uday, Lido Learning, and others have also laid-off employees. As parents have resorted to these online platforms for their children during the lockdown period. As the lockdown period is coming to an end, parents are returning to the natural choice of offline tutoring as before. Ed Tech did a lot of acquisitions and raised funds based on demand during the lockdown period. It will be interesting to see if they can keep the kids engaged with ed-tech for a long time.
Since 2020 when the pandemic began, ed-tech businesses started booming and have raised more than $4 billion in venture capital funding. Now after witnessing a slump in demand, Edtech companies like BYJU and Unacademy are trying to transition to a hybrid version that has both a physical and a virtual presence in order to be successful after the pandemic. Somewhat similar to what Lenskart did when they realized that changing customer behaviour was a tough nut to crack.