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Byju's to launch Byju's Future School in push for overseas expansion

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The Economic Times
08th April, 2021 15:24 IST

Bengaluru/Mumbai: Byju’s will launch its new product Byju’s Future School in the US, UK, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico next month, in what would be its biggest push for international expansion.

India’s most-valued edtech startup, which acquired tutor Aakash Educational Services Ltd. for about $950 million earlier this week, said that its coding-for-kids subsidiary WhiteHat Jr has played an important role in building this new platform, which will offer one-on-one teacher and student sessions.

The new international business, which will start off offering maths and coding tutorials and subsequently be expanded to include science, music, english and fine arts classes, will be headed by Karan Bajaj, founder and chief executive officer of WhiteHat Jr, Byju’s said.

“We are combining our product expertise of ‘platform plus content’ and have been able to do so in a very short span of time. We have finished our pilots and are ready to scale this,” said Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of Byju’s.

According to Raveendran, Byju’s 11,000 women teachers from India will cater to students in english-speaking markets and it will look to hire teachers in Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia to cater to non-english-speaking students. The cost arbitrage of building a service out of India would exist and allow the company to run its international business at 60-65% gross margin, with a goal of growing international revenues (from Future School and Osmo) to around $500 million within the first year itself, he said.

“We are already far ahead of some of the B2C education brands in these markets and we have a strong product market fit that we’ve already figured out,” said Raveendran. “If we are able to execute well, we will invest hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 1-2 years, for something that will literally be a few billion dollars in revenue.”

Bajaj, who has been overseeing the international expansion of WhiteHat Jr that will now be folded into the Byju’s Future School brand, said that the platform on an average is clocking 20,000 live sessions per day taught by over 7,000 teachers. The number of classes on the weekends doubled to 40,000.

The company already has 200 teachers in Mexico with more than 1,000 students already on the platform in the country, he said.

For Byju’s, which was valued at more than $13 billion when it raised $460 million in March, international markets represent an opportunity to continue growing at 100% year-on-year, something it has been able to achieve with its core offering in India over the past few years. Raveendran said the international business could drive one-third of Byju’s revenues in one year.

In terms of branding, the company said that it was looking to take all its international offerings to the market under the Byju’s brand name. While WhiteHat Jr in overseas markets will now become Byju’s Future School, it’s Osmo acquisition will also be rebranded to Byju’s Books in the near future.

“We want to have multiple offerings from one master brand in new markets. We’re still trying to figure out what we need to do in India, because for curricular subjects we (Byju’s) are very well known, but for coding WhiteHat Jr is well-known,” Raveendran said.

For now, the company is looking at its new one-on-one student-teacher offering as its most premium product that will sit above its Byju’s Learning App offering in India as well. It said that this was the natural progressions a student would make from consuming free content on the platform, to subscribing to pre-recorded content, to finally making the jump to live classes.

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