Indian edtech giant BYJU’S has acquired a US-based Epic digital reading platform for $ 500 million. The American platform aims to promote the habit of reading in children 12 and under.

The acquisition is expected to help BYJU’S expand its presence in the United States by providing access to the more than two million teachers and 50 million children of Epic’s existing global user base.

“We created Epic to make quality books more accessible to children around the world and to create a safe place where they can experience the joy and magic of reading on their own terms,” said Suren Markosian, CEO and co- founder of Epic.

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As part of this acquisition, Suren Markosian, CEO of Epic and co-founder Kevin Donahue, will continue to lead operations at Epic in the same roles. Epic has a collection of over 40,000 popular and high-quality books, audiobooks and videos from over 250 publishers.

“Our partnership with Epic will allow us to create engaging and interactive reading and learning experiences for children around the world. Knowing that Epic and its products are grounded in the same mission, it was a natural fit, ”said Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO of BYJU’S.

Key investors

Founded by Byju Raveendran in 2015, BYJU’S claims to serve 100 million students worldwide today. With this acquisition, the company made 12 acquisitions, including Toppr, Aakash Educational Services, WhiteHat Jr and others. The total funding raised by major edtech amounts to approximately $ 2.7 billion. Its investors include General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, Silver Lake and Tiger Global.

The company further noted that this acquisition stems from the two companies’ shared vision that education is the key to opportunity and that reading inspires curiosity and fuels a child’s love for learning. Fluency in reading is fundamental to academic development, as issues with this skill can interfere with a student’s ability to learn other subjects as they progress through subsequent classes.