WI Harper Group | July 21, 2021 | Source: TechCrunch
Epic!, an eponymous digital reading platform for kids aged 12 or younger, has been acquired by Byju for $500 million. The deal involves both cash and stock, and Epic! founders Kevin Donahue and Suren Markosian will continue to run the business. Since 2013, Epic! has raised over $68 million in funding, including WI Harper’s participation in its Series A round in December 2014, and the subsequent Series B, C & D rounds invested alongside Translink, Rakuten, Maven Ventures and other great investors. WI Harper has also been an Observer on Epic’s Board of Directors since initial investment.
Some original titles released by Epic
Founded in 2009, Epic! was started with the goal of bringing books to every child, by using technology to get kids excited about reading. Epic! is now in almost every school in the U.S., reaching over 50 million kids and a billion books read.
With over 100 million registered students and 6.5 million annual paid subscriptions, BYJU is the world’s leading EdTech company and the creator of India’s school learning app which offers highly adaptive, engaging and effective learning programs for students. For Byju, the acquisition expands its current portfolio and brings expertise on the U.S. demographic. Earlier this year, Byju rebranded its international business as Byju’s Future School, as part of which it is offering coding and math in synchronous and asynchronous formats to students, and plans to add music, English, fine arts and science to the catalog.
Byju, which launched a learning app featuring Disney characters in the U.S. earlier this month, now has three large offerings in the U.S. that expects to generate $100 million each in revenue this year alone. Byju has been backed by strong and prominent investors, including: Blackstone, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, CPPIB, General Atlantic, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, IFC, Lightspeed ventures, Tiger Global, Owl Ventures, and Qatar Investment Authority.
| About WI Harper Group
WI Harper is a pioneer and leading cross-border venture capital firm investing in early and expansion stage companies globally. With offices in San Francisco, Beijing, and Taipei, the firm actively oversees more than $1 billion in assets under management. Since inception nearly three decades ago, WI Harper has invested in over 400 startups and has successfully experienced more than 100 IPO and M&A exits.
We look for innovative companies and visionary founders in healthcare, technology and sustainability fields where there are high synergies and meaningful value added cross selling opportunities. While our healthcare team is presently honing on bioinformatics and digital biology, our technology team is focused blockchain, big data, analytics, artificial intelligence, AR/VR, IoT, robotics, drones, autonomous driving, as well as digital media and green energy projects.