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Byju’s buys out US digital reading platform Epic for $500 million

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Byju’s buys out US digital reading platform Epic for $500 million

Byju’s, India’s most valuable start-up, has acquired US-based digital reading platform Epic for $500 million to strengthen its position in the American market.

The acquisition will help Byju’s 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, the company said.

The transaction follows Byju’s acquiring classroom tutorial chain Aakash Educational Services for $950 million earlier this year. Last year, it bought coding start-up WhiteHat Jr for around $300 million. The Indian startup has made around 10 acquisitions in recent years.

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Byju’s was valued at $16.5 billion in June, surpassing fintech company Paytm’s $16 billion valuation. According to the CB Insights data, as of June, Byju's was the 11th most valuable start-up in the world.

Epic, meant for children up to 12 years of age, has a collection of over 40,000 popular, high-quality books, audiobooks, and videos from more than 250 of the world’s best publishers available on subscription.

Epic CEO Suren Markosian and co-founder Kevin Donahue will remain in their roles.

Byju's said Epic would help its plans of international and US market expansion. The company has set aside $1 billion for investing in North America.

“Our partnership with Epic will enable us to create engaging and interactive reading and learning experiences for children globally…Together we have the opportunity to create impactful experiences for children to become life-long learners,” said Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO, Byju’s.

Last month, Byju’s announced it would bring its learning app featuring Disney characters to the US. The Disney-licensed product has been tested in India for a couple of years, it said.