Veranda Learning, the edtech venture of Chennai-based business family Kalpathi Group, is acquiring seven businesses taking its total spend on acquisitions since listing to over Rs 1,000 crore.
The firm, which debuted on the stock exchanges last year, has invested Rs 400 crore to buy Educare Infrastructure, Six Phrase, SmartBridge, Talent Academy & Publications, Phire Learning and BAssure through its subsidiary Veranda Administrative Learning Solutions Pvt. Ltd, it said in a release.
Veranda is spending the most - Rs 200 crore in a cash and stock combination - on Educare Infrastructure Services in a bid to expand its access to K-12 school and college education segment. Educare provides school management like infrastructure planning and development, staff recruitment and training, sales and marketing among other things.
The acquisitions help the education company to diversify its offerings, as it aims to cater to the entire value chain in the education space.
“We would like to be part of students' journey from schools, to test prep and colleges till the upskilling stage,” said Saradha Govindarajan, chief financial officer of Veranda Learning in a statement.
“The assets fill the gaps in the value chain for us and allow us to go deeper into the education segment,” she added.
Shares of Veranda ended at Rs 202.40 apiece, clocking gains of 3.1% in Tuesday’s trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
The acquisitions come seven months after Veranda agreed to buy CA test prep platform J K Shah Education. Last year, it acquired the test prep institute T.I.M.E.
Floated in 2018 by The Kalpathi Group, which has interests in sectors such as software services and entertainment, Veranda Learning has been aggressively building its education portfolio. Currently the company offers training programs for competitive exams including public service, banking, insurance, railways, CA, besides professional skilling and upskilling programmes.
“The journey of any student begins in the K-12 space and it is an important part of the ecosystem we operate in,” said Suresh Kalpathi, executive director and chairman, Veranda Learning in the statement.
The edtech sector, which saw record funding in 2021, has borne significant brunt of the funding crunch with companies laying off thousands of employees to reduce cash burn. The sector, however, is also booming with new acquisitions.
Last week, listed publisher S Chand bought a stake in ixamBee to strengthen its portfolio. VCCircle reported that Infinity Learn, part of the Hyderabad-based group Sri Chaitanya Educational Institutions, is also looking to acquire fledgling edtech startups to strengthen its position in the online learning market.