Closing conditions and regulatory approvals must be met for the transaction to be closed within three months.
As James Murdoch and former Disney executive Uday Shankar’s investment platform deepens its bet on India’s expanding edtech industry, they announced a $600 million stake in Allen Career Institute on Sunday. The partners stated that their investment in the 33-year-old education business, which has 138 classroom facilities in 46 cities across India and the Middle East, is crucial.
Allen, which prepares students for prestigious exams such as IIT JEE Mains & Advanced, NEET-UG, KVPY, and the Olympiads, announced that it will collaborate with Bodhi Tree to expand its test-prep offering and “deliver at-scale positive impact for millions of students in test-prep and K12 segments, using technology as the core driver of value.”
According to a person familiar with the subject, the acquisition valued Kota-headquartered Allen at well than $1 billion, but TechCrunch was unable to ascertain the specific number.
Allen is the owner of one of India’s leading coaching institutions. The company competes with Aakash, which was bought by the Indian edtech behemoth Byju’s last year for about $1 billion. According to two people familiar with the situation, Indian online platform Unacademy, which was recently valued at $3.4 billion, had previously considered purchasing Allen.
Since its inception, Allen has focused on providing high quality education to students to help them achieve their highest potential and fulfil their career aspirations,” said Rajesh Maheshwari, founder of Allen, in a statement. “In the process, we have helped create hundreds of thousands of doctors and engineers, who contribute to building India and the society of today. Our partnership with Bodhi Tree is an essential ingredient in furthering our mission to significantly increase Allen’s reach and impact.”
The investment in Allen is Bodhi Tree’s second announcement this week. On Wednesday, the company announced a $1.78 billion investment in Mukesh Ambani’s television network Viacom18.
“Education is a critical consumer need, driven by its deeply transformative impact on lives and livelihoods of consumers,” Murdoch and Shankar said in a joint statement.
“We believe that education is on the cusp of a technology led renaissance that will fundamentally alter how education is imparted and will increase its efficacy. Allen’s unrivaled success and scale provide the right foundation to build the digital education company of the future. We are excited to work with the Maheshwari family to build an outcomes-focused digital education company that delivers on the aspirations of millions of learners and parents in India and beyond.”
The couple, who have invested in a number of Indian firms through Lupa, including short-video platform and news aggregation DailyHunt and edtech DoubtNut, announced the formation of Bodhi Tree, a $1.5 billion investment fund, in February of this year. The organisation, which is backed by the Gulf State’s sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, intends to invest mostly in India and the Southeast Asia area.