byju raveendran: Byju’s views its acquisitions as integrations, Byju Raveendran says
“Apart from the fact that we have retained the six cofounder equivalents in the company, today I can easily say that I have more than 12 cofounders because we’ve been able to integrate so well that they work like founding partners,” Byju Raveendran said during an event organised by TiE Delhi-NCR on Thursday.
“More than acquisitions, we think of them as integrations,” he said.
All its acquisitions so far have been complementary.
“We mainly acquired Osmo for their technology and product. We also scaled Osmo by almost 4 times in two years—it’s a win-win,” Raveendran said. Byju’s
acquired educational games company Osmo for $120 million in 2019, its first acquisition in the US.
“It’s tough to integrate cross-border acquisitions. Osmo has a different culture, we have a different culture—there is no point trying to make everyone work in the same manner. Culture is defined by people, so we make sure people continue,” he said.
Pramod Sharma, founder and CEO of Osmo, who was also part of the panel discussion, said a lot of time had been spent on strategy and building trust as colleagues.
Earlier this year, Byju’s
also acquired Singapore-headquartered Great Learning for $600 million in a cash, stock and earnout deal.
“At Great Learning, we are strong in our culture. We have aligned ourselves consistently with our values, so one of the earliest things we (Great Learning and Byju’s) talked about is that,” said another panel member Mohan Lakhamraju, the founder and CEO of Great Learning.
Byju’s said it had acquired Tynker in a cash-and-stock deal. Sources said it paid about $150-$200 million for the US-based coding platform. Byju’s
has spent over $2 billion in the last few months for acquisitions in India and abroad.
Meanwhile, in another panel discussion, Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda said that its India learners were younger compared to learners from other countries. “India looks similar than different to other countries. We do see higher incidents of using mobile devices. The average age is a little bit younger in India,” he said.
Indian learners are disciplined, according to him. “They realise that education is the path to opportunity. So, we see a voracious appetite for learners in India to be consuming forces as a link to a successful career,” Maggioncalda said.
The open online course provider recently said
it would partner more Indian institutions and introduce platform innovations. India is Coursera’s second-largest market.