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Manipal Group acquires e-learning platform Jigsaw Academy
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Ranjan Pai-led Manipal Education & Medical Group (MEMG) has acquired Jigsaw Academy Education Pvt. Ltd, a portal which offers courses in big data and data analytics for working professionals.

The conglomerate has taken control of Jigsaw Academy more than three years after investing Rs 20 crore ($3 million then) in the Bengaluru-based startup.

MEMG group president Subrat Mohanty told Mint that the acquisition was aimed at increasing course offerings for upskilling and reskilling. It will also help MEMG streamline its digital marketing expenditure, he added.

The value of the deal was not disclosed.

MEMG’s interests cut across education, healthcare and research. Mohanty was further quoted as saying that Jigsaw would help complement MEMG’s product portfolio because it understood the digital business-to-consumer (B2C) segment. 

“We’ll be now going B2C in a big way,” he said, adding that Jigsaw Academy founders Sarita Digumarti and Gaurav Vohra will remain with the company. 

Email queries sent to Jigsaw Academy seeking further details did not yield a response till the time of publishing this report.

Founded in 2011, Jigsaw Academy’s course catalogue also includes machine learning, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things.

Manipal Global Education (MaGE) chairman TV Mohandas Pai, a former director of IT services major Infosys, had put money in his personal capacity when MEMG first invested in Jigsaw Academy back in 2015.

Apart from MaGE, which offers a wide range of online certification programmes, MEMG operates Manipal Health Enterprises, which runs the Manipal Hospitals brand. It also operates life science company Stempeutics Research and a philanthropic arm, Manipal Foundation.

Last week, MEMG said it was acquiring a controlling stake in health insurance firm Cigna TTK Health Insurance and renaming it as ManipalCigna Health Insurance Company. 

Deals in the online learning segment

The online learning and ed-tech segment has attracted considerable investor interest of late.

The valuation of ed-tech firm Byju’s crossed $5 billion after it raised $31.3 million in March in a round of funding led by existing investors General Atlantic and Tencent Holdings Ltd. 

In December last year , Byju’s announced that it had secured $540 million (Rs 3,855 crore then) in a round led by South African tech conglomerate Naspers.

Unacademy, whose offerings rival those of Jigsaw Academy in some respects, raised $21 million (Rs 144 crore) last July from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners and SAIF Partners. 

To discuss the emerging opportunities and challenges in dealmaking, Mosaic Digital, the corporate banner behind VCCircle.com, is organising its next edition of M&A Summit on 26 June in Mumbai.

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