The Indian EdTech sector has seen a flurry of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) — 37 in all — since January this year, as consolidation picks up in the industry.
In the latest deals, Vedantu is to acquire Deeksha for $40 million and Veranda Learning Solutions will acquire JK Shah Education for $41 million. The total value of the deals was not available as most companies do not disclose the numbers.
Reports say India has over 4,500 EdTech start-ups, assisting over 300 million school students.
Data from the Chennai-based Venture Intelligence says that 32 of the deals this year were domestic transactions, while two were out-bound, and three in-bound. Great Learning’s acquisition of Northwest Executive Learning at $100 million was the highest valued acquisition.
According to the PwC India Startup Deals Tracker report, EdTech saw seven M&As in the September quarter. upGrad was the top acquirer in the quarter with four acquisitions – Wolves India, Harappa Education, Exampur and Centum Learning.
Managing Director & CEO – Venture Intelligence, Arun Natrajan, says post-Covid, the reopening of physical education facilities was bound to impact the sector. With the decline in funding for smaller companies, consolidation has begun, with the stronger and better funded players acting as acquirers. Another factor driving M&A action is the need for EdTech companies to switch to the hybrid model (versus online only), he added.
Agreeing with Natarajan, Atul Saraogi, Director, Veda Corporate Advisors Pvt Ltd, said tconsolidation is accelerating on the demand side, as both digital and large offline businesses are looking to achieve scale through inorganic means. On the supply side, are a host of start-ups that are unable to attract funding, besides sound traditional offline businesses.
Neeti Sharma, President and Co-founder of Teamlease Edtech Ltd, said the acquisitions are focused on providing skills-based learning to ensure students are employable and job ready. CA/ CS coaching helps students build their careers in a specific field, giving them the knowledge and experience to perform well at their workplace.