Ebix enters e-learning space by acquiring Smartclass, earmarks $100 M for the sector

20th Apr 2018
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Insurance solutions software provider Ebix, on Thursday, announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in India-based e-learning company Smartclass Educational Services Private Limited (Smartclass).

The e-learning company is engaged in the business of education services, development of education products, and implementation of education solutions for K-12 schools. Under the terms of the agreement, Ebix will pay up to $8 million in cash for its stake in SmartClass.

SmartClass has a staff strength of approximately 500 employees, out of a total of 1,000 staff, dedicated to research and development and customer engagement. Further, the company caters to accredited school education through rich media like 2D, 3D, virtual reality animation etc.

Divya Lal, CEO, Smartclass

With this, Smartclass will be tightly integrated into Ebix’s education and e-learning initiatives in India and is seen as one of the many steps that Ebix intends to take with an intent to invest up to $100 million in the sector.

Ebix Chairman, President and CEO Robin Raina said,

“The e-learning business model is typically asset-light and caters well to strong recurring operating margins once the customer aggregation crosses the threshold levels. We have been eyeing India’s fast-growing e-learning sector for many years now, fueled by the fact that education is one of the highest spending areas traditionally for an Indian median household. Towards that extent, we have earmarked a $100 million amount for investment in India’s e-learning sector and the acquisition of Smartclass is a logical first step for Ebix to establish its presence in the country’s e-learning markets.”

Speaking on other reasons for the investment, Robin added,

“When you consider the strong focus that the Indian government has put on investing in the e-learning sector in the recent budget, the present nascent state of the country’s education infrastructure, and the fast growth that high tech companies like Smartclass have experienced in India, the decision to take up a strong position in the country’s e-learning markets became an easy one for Ebix.”

Divya Lal, CEO, Smartclass, said,

”We are very excited by the possibilities of growth, geographical reach and financial strength that this investment from Ebix brings to Smartclass. We look forward to becoming a part of the Ebix family and replicating Ebix’s international success over the last two decades, to build upon our existing strengths and take a leadership place in India’s e-learning industry.”

Earlier this month, Ebix had also announced the acquisition of foreign exchange service provider CentrumDirect Limited (CDL) for $175 million. This acquisition was to establish the position of Ebix’s India subsidiary, EbixCash, in the outward remittance and forex markets.

Last year, in May, Ebix had acquired an 80-percent stake in ItzCash for $123 million, giving exit to the payments firm's existing venture capital shareholders and later, in November, acquired Via.com, an online travel and assisted e-commerce exchange, through one of its Singapore subsidiaries.

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