Great Learning employees to make $100M from the $600M acquisition to BYJU'S

Mohan Lakhamraju, Founder and CEO, Great Learning has confirmed that 120 of its employees will be making $100 million in a combination of cash, stock, and earnout through its $600 million acquisition to BYJU'S.
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Bengaluru-based edtech decacorn BYJU'S has confirmed the acquisition of bootstrapped skilling startup Great Learning for $600 million, with the deal comprising cash, stock, and earnout. Great Learning will continue to operate as an independent unit under the BYJU’S Group, under the leadership of Founder and CEO Mohan Lakhamraju and Co-founders Hari Nair and Arjun Nair.

With this substantial investment, Great Learning aims to accelerate organic and inorganic growth in India and across global markets, and expand its transformational offerings to learners everywhere. 

Team Great Learning

Apart from being a great deal for the founders, this also makes a substantial deal for the employees who have been a part of the company for several years now.

In a conversation with YourStory, Mohan said that Great Learning employees will see a value of $100 million across the board in cash, stock, and earnout. This includes what they get now in the form of cash, ESOPs, and the future earnout.

"They have the same treatment as founders," Mohan said.

He added more than 120 people have ESOPs in the company, and many others will see more rewards in the next three to five years. The future ESOP payout will depend on the company, which has over 1,200 employees.

"One of the advantages of being a bootstrapped organisation is that your stake can be divided with employees. Close to 25 percent of the company is owned by our employees. They have built the company so far, and have had to work hard, make sacrifices. We have had a stable team, and not a single person from the top four levels has left the team. It is now our time to give back to our employees," he said.

"We were fortunate enough to be able to have a large ESOP pool and that's why this is happening. We have been able to reward long-term commitment and dedication, and will continue to do so," he added.

Great Learning has crossed the revenue run rate of $100 million in FY21. The company concluded FY20 with booked revenue of Rs 325 crore — a growth of close to 150 percent from FY19. The company's user base has also grown ten-fold in FY21.

Founded in 2013, Great Learning has over 1.5 million students who spend 60 million hours learning on the platform, and is among India’s top three higher-education startups today.

Similar acquisitions and liquidity events have always worked well for long-term employees. When the Flipkart - Walmart deal took place, the employees could cash out 10 percent of their vested stock options at $125 to $135 apiece.

Edited by Kanishk Singh