India-based edtech firm BrightChamps announced Wednesday that it had acquired Schola, a Vietnamese-led startup, for $15 million in cash and stock.
Founded by former Facebook executives Aditya Gupta and Nhu Tran Le Thanh in 2017, Schola offers one-on-one English-based courses for students aged 4 to 15, helping them get “ready for careers of tomorrow.” These courses include communication and public speaking and leadership presentation. The startup, headquartered in Singapore, currently operates in 12 countries, including Vietnam.
BrightChamps, meanwhile, was founded by Ravi Bhushan in 2020, catering to the K-12 segment. Its curriculum offers coding classes for children and deals with topics such as AI, robotics, and virtual reality. BrightChamps is currently valued at $650 million and is expected to become India’s next unicorn soon.
Schola’s acquisition is seen to help boost its growth rate by 500% by the end of 2022, Bhushan told Tech in Asia on Wednesday.
“Given Schola’s profitability and sustainable growth approach with low cash burn, we already know that there is great synergy between the two companies’ operating models. I am confident that with Aditya and Nhu at the forefront, not only will Schola deepen our presence in the 30+ countries we’re already operational in, but it will also help us introduce BrightChamps to many other parts of the world,” added Bhushan.
Schola had grown tremendously in the past year, as students turned to online learning when COVID-19 impacted the education sector. Even without capital injection, Schola remained profitable. It offers flexible courses where students can complete credits at their own pace.
“I took a leap of faith to work on a problem that was close to me, as I saw myself and many other talents from Vietnam and Southeast Asia struggle with effective communication skills,” said Nhu in a LinkedIn post announcing the new milestone. “My co-founder Aditya and I started with little resources, and I’m proud of how far we have come with that, in building a great organization, a committed team, and delivering value to our customers, students, and wonderful educators.”
Along with a catalog of courses in the BrightChamps ecosystem — including coding, financial literacy, and robotics — Schola is poised to offer the best next-gen skills for its users.
Even with the successful deal, Schola will continue to run independently. However, human resources, finance, legal functions, and tech stacks will be under BrightChamps.
This acquisition brings BrightChamps’ staff headcount to 3,000, with 500 full-time employees and 2,500 contracted educators. The firm is looking to hire 2,000 more staff by the end of the year.