Byju, once hailed as one of India’s most prominent startups with a valuation exceeding $22 billion, is currently grappling with a significant financial downturn, witnessing its value plummet to less than $3 billion. This predicament underscores the challenges faced by the tech sector in recent years, with another notable player experiencing a noteworthy decline.
Doubtnut, an ed-tech startup that garnered attention for its innovative approach to answering mathematical and science questions through photo-based solutions, has faced a substantial setback. Initially valued at over Rs 11,000 crore, Doubtnut reportedly received an acquisition offer from Byju’s. However, the deal did not materialize, and the startup has now been sold to Allen Career Institute for a mere Rs 83 crore.
Founded in 2016 by Tanushree Nagori and Aditya Shankar, both IIT graduates, Doubtnut employed machine learning and image recognition technology to provide explanations and answers to students’ queries. The startup gained recognition for its ability to reach around 32 million students every month. Its offerings were lauded by experts for addressing a core consumer need in education – the timely and effective resolution of doubts.
The acquisition by Allen Career Institute signals a strategic move to enhance the learning experience for students. Allen Career Institute, a renowned name in the education sector, plans to integrate its curriculum and academic offerings into Doubtnut’s platform. With investors such as Peak XV Partners, Omidyar Network India, and Waterbridge Ventures, Doubtnut’s journey takes an unexpected turn with this acquisition.
Nitin Kukreja, CEO of Allen Career Institute, expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, emphasizing the importance of resolving doubts in the learning process. He sees Doubtnut’s platform as an opportunity to significantly enhance the learning experience for Allen’s students while exploring the potential to extend the institute’s high-quality academic products to a broader audience.
The tech landscape, once characterized by rapid growth and soaring valuations, is undergoing a period of reassessment and recalibration. The challenges faced by Byju and the acquisition of Doubtnut by Allen Career Institute reflect the evolving dynamics within the sector and the need for adaptability in a competitive and ever-changing educational landscape.