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Binny Bansal-Backed Brightchamps Buys Singapore Startup Schola for $15 Million

Picture Credit: Internet

Backed by Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Edtech startup Brightchamps has acquired Singapore-based communication and English learning platform Schola in a $15 million cash and stock deal.

Brightchamps co-founder and CEO Ravi Bhushan told Moneycontrol in a virtual interaction that all Schola employees, including its founding team, were retained after the acquisition.

Bhushan also said the acquisition of Schola would help Brightchamps add English-speaking and communications verticals, which will help it expand faster in key markets in Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.

Founded by former senior Facebook executives Aditya Gupta and Nhu Tran Le Thanh, Schola offers a variety of live, one-on-one classroom-style classes for kids ages 4 to 15 to develop skills such as communication, public speaking, leadership presentations and trust building. The company currently offers courses to students from 12 countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, and Malaysia.

The acquisition comes a few months after Brightchamps said the company would set aside as much as $100 million for mergers and acquisitions in FY23 (2022-23). Bhushan said the company would explore acquisitions to expand into new regions and verticals and boost user growth.

Interestingly, the company has only raised around $63 million so far, and in FY21 (FY20-21), it raised Rs 2.3 crore. FY21 was Brightchamps’ first year of operations. Bhushan said the company scaled up in FY22 (2021-22) with a very low cash burn. Brightchamps will fund the acquisition through the funds raised and Brightchamps stock, Bhushan said. Brightchamps claims a valuation of $650 million.

Founded by Bhushan in 2020, Brightchamps claims to operate in over 30 countries, including the US, Canada, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Nigeria. Brightchamps operates a platform that teaches coding, financial literacy and robotics to kids ages 6-16.

The company last raised money in November. It has raised $63 million from investors including Premji Invest, BeeNext, GSV Ventures and 021 Capital, backed by Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal.

Brightchamps has joined another edtech company — Tiger Global-backed Scaler — in setting aside significant funding for acquisitions in FY23. Moneycontrol reported in May that Scaler had set aside $50 million for the acquisition. Another edtech unicorn, Ronnie Skruvala’s upGrad, also went on an acquisition spree this year.

It’s worth noting that while funding for edtech companies has slowed as schools and universities reopen and demand online learning surges, they’ve all raised big bucks this year. The slowdown in funding has also hit the valuations of edtech companies, allowing well-funded players to acquire companies at profitable prices.

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