Byju’s Deceitful Practices

Byju’s is yet again in the news but not for good reasons this time. There have been many complaints regarding its shady practices around getting new users and financing the education. Let us look at some of them and see how the EdTech major is reportedly exploiting the market.

Crux of the Matter

What Happened?
Recently, there have been a lot of complaints about how Byju’s tends to trap parents into getting a loan for subscribing to their educational plans.

The Process

Sales Pitch

  • Byju’s’ Business Development Associates are known for their artful sales pitches.
  • Each speech would convey that the parents need to be more responsible for their child’s future and that they need to act now for the same.

Product Offering

  • The BDA position the product to be like a scholarship, by offering them at discounted prices.
  • It makes parents believe that their child is exclusively selected from a bunch of children.
  • The scholarship offer is availed for a very short period, thus luring the parents to make a hasty payment.
  • The subscription amount EMIs are then financed through third party institutes like NBFCs or Banks.

The Payment Medium

  • They also ask for Aadhar & PAN Card in order to get CIBIL & Bank details for automated EMI deductions.
  • EMIs are received through monthly instalments of Credit Cards or Electronic Clearing System.

The Trap

  • Before the parents know, the monthly amount is automatically debited post one-time authentication.
  • In more than 50% of the cases, parents had no clue that they were taking a loan.

Trial Period Frauds

  • In quite a few cases, Byju’s have dishonored the cancellation request made by the parents.
  • Some parent has complained they never received the requested refund.

Other Complaints

  • Give access to initial classes and then later complain of network issues.
  • Untrained instructors – the mentorship promises made during the sales pitch were not fulfilled.
  • Tie up with schools and make the faculties force the students to take up courses offered by Byju’s

Did you hear about Byju’s latest acquisition of Aakash Institutes for ₹7300 crores? If not then read about it here.

  • Amazon India recently launched Amazon Academy, a rebranded version of its IIT JEE preparation app JEE ready. India’s online education sector has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Covid-19 pandemic-induced shutdown in the country.
  • Sales process engineering is the engineering of better sales processes. It is intended to design better ways of selling, making salespeople’s efforts more productive. It has been described as “the systematic application of scientific and mathematical principles to achieve the practical goals of a particular sales process”.
  • The point of sale (POS) is the time and place where a retail transaction is completed. At the point of sale, the merchant calculates the amount owed by the customer, indicates that amount, may prepare an invoice for the customer, and indicates the options for the customer to make payment.

A New Chapter To Byju’s Tale Of Acquisitions

A New Chapter To Byju's Tale Of Acquisitions

A prime example of the prospering EdTech sector in India, Byju’s is now back in news with its latest acquisition of Aakash Institutes for ₹7300 crores. Wondering whether its hiring spree would come to an end or not? We certainly have no clue. In the meantime, let us look at some of its previous acquisitions.

Crux of the Matter

About Byju’s

  • Bangalore headquartered Byju’s is India’s second most valuable startup.
  • Backed by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Tiger Management & Bond capital, Byju’s has raised over $800 million in the past 2 years.
  • Byju’s was founded by Byju Raveendran in 2011, it has more than 70 million users logged in – of which 4.5 million are paid users.

Byju’s Acquires Aakash Institute
January 2021

  • As per Bloomberg’s Report, $12 billion worth Byju’s is set to acquire Black Stone-backed Aakash Educational Services Ltd. (AESL) for $1 billion.
  • AESL runs over 200 physical classroom centres all over India with a student count of about 2,50,000
  • It specializes in preparing for the entrance exam to TIER I Engineering and Medical Schools.
  • The deal which is thought to be one of the largest in the ed-tech field globally is expected to be closed in the coming two-three months.
  • In the deal, the Chaudhary family (founder of AESL) will exit completely and Black Stone would swap its position for a 37.5% stake in the new entity.

Byju’s Acquired LabIn App
September 2020

  • Acquired Unitus Ventures-backed LabInApp for an undisclosed amount. 
  • LabInApp offers science lab-like simulation on mobile devices, curating interactive and immersive learning experience for students and teachers.

Byju’s Acquired White Hat Jr.
August 2020

  • Acquired Mumbai headquartered White Hat Jr. for the cost of $300 million
  • Founded by Karan Bajaj in 2018, White Hat Jr teaches online coding to students through live lessons and interactive classes. 

Recently, White Hat Jr. was in the news for its unrealistic marketing gimmicks and data breach of personal information of minors from their servers. Read about it in detail here.

Byju’s Acquired Osmo
January 2019

  • They acquired US-based Osmo for $120 million. Osmo is famous for its blended learning educational games crafted for children aged 3-8 years
  • They have been pivotal in creating ‘play-based learning’ for young children. This acquisition has been at the core of Byju’s’ offering of Disney-Byju’s Early Learn.

Byju’s Acquired Math Adventures
July 2018

Math Adventures helps children learn through a combination of short videos and an activity-based approach that uses workbooks and tablets.

Byju’s Acquired TutorVista & Edurite
July 2017

Acquired TutorVista, Edurite from Pearson. It is one of the largest online tutoring brands catering to school and college students situated majorly out of the US.

Byju’s X Vidyartha
January  2017

  • Vidyartha offers a customized data-driven full-fledged assessment platform that goes beyond the report card of a student and assesses their interests, personality traits, aptitudes.
  • Forms a personalized learning plan (PLP) for students with the goal of maximizing their performance and scores.

  • Kota is a city located in the southeast of the northern Indian state of Rajasthan. Kota is a major coaching hub of the country for competitive examination preparations and has a number of engineering and medical coaching institutes.
  • Byju Raveendran is currently in the list of top 100 billionaires of India. He was named to Fortune Magazine’s 2020 ’40 Under 40′ list under the technology category.
  • K–12 from kindergarten to 12th grade, is an expression that indicates the range of years of publicly supported primary and secondary education. The first K–12 public school systems appeared in the early 19th century.