BYJU’s cuts 600 jobs as edtech space shrinks in India

New Delhi: In a big overhaul as the Indian edtech space shrinks considerably, online learning giant BYJU’s has cut at least 600 jobs — asking 300 employees at its Toppr learning platform and another 300 at coding platform WhiteHat Jr to go.

For the layoff at Toppr which it acquired last year for $150 million, BYJU’s confirmed the development, saying it has completed “the integration of Toppr and has absorbed almost 80 per cent of its talented workforce into the BYJU’S ecosystem”.

After the acquisition was completed, Toppr’s employees from the sales and marketing division were retained while those in other departments were asked to go.

The company spokesperson said that as the next step, “we are optimising teams to recalibrate business priorities and accelerate our long-term growth”.

Earlier, online coding provider WhiteHat Jr, the beleaguered platform under edtech giant BYJU’s umbrella that it acquired for $300 million, laid off around 300 employees, after more than 1,000 of its employees resigned after being asked to return to office in April-May.

This time, most of the fired employees belonged to the code-teaching and sales teams at the platform and some of them worked in Brazil.

In a statement, the company said that “to realign with our business priorities, we are optimising our team to accelerate results and best position the business for long-term growth”.

The layoffs at BYJU’s arrived amid reports that it has delayed payments to the stakeholders as part of its $1 billion acquisition of Aakash Educational Services, to which the company said that the acquisition process “is on track and is expected to be completed by August”.

BYJU’s acquired Delhi-based offline test preparatory services provider Aakash for $1 billion last year.

A company spokesperson told IANS that the acquisition of “Aakash is fully on track and all payments are expected to be completed by the agreed upon date, i.e., August 2022”.

“Aakash is our most successful acquisition till date and we are very proud to have them in our fold,” the company spokesperson added.

“Along with all our group companies, we continue to be perfectly poised to provide access to quality education in all learning segments from early learning to exam prep and career success,” the spokesperson said.

Aakash Educational Services provides test preparation services for medical and engineering entrance exams, school/board exams, and other exams via Aakash Centres.

The edtech unicorn made at least 10 acquisitions for a cumulative transaction value of about $2.5 billion last year.

Led by the edtech platforms like Unacademy, WhiteHat Jr, Vedantu, FrontRow, Udayy, Lido Learning and others, over 10,000 start-up employees have been laid off in the country.

The layoffs come as the edtech sector has been hammered by the global macroeconomic conditions and reopening of schools, colleges and physical tuition centres.

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