ALLEN makes its first acquisition in the edtech space with Doubtnut

The strategic acquisition of Doubtnut's AI-based doubts solving platform is part of ALLEN’s plans to build technology-led learning solutions focused on improving students’ learning outcomes.

ALLEN makes its first acquisition in the edtech space with Doubtnut

Monday December 04, 2023,

3 min Read

Kota-based ALLEN Career Institute has acquired Gurugram-based edtech startup Doubtnut, marking its first acquisition in the edtech space as it looks to make more impact in the online channel after more than three decades of offline coaching.

The strategic acquisition of the AI-based doubt-solving platform is part of ALLEN’s plans to build technology-led learning solutions focused on improving students’ learning outcomes, the Kota-based firm said.

“Timely and effective resolution of doubts is a core consumer need in education. Doubtnut’s platform will allow us to greatly enhance the learning experience for our students,” said Nitin Kukreja, Chief Executive Officer of ALLEN Career Institute, expressing excitement about the potential of extending ALLEN’s academic products to a broader audience.

The Doubtnut team will continue to build doubt-resolution experiences for students, while ALLEN will integrate its curriculum and academic offerings into the edtech startup’s student base, addressing their educational requirements.

“We resonate with ALLEN’s vision of creating technology products that are focused on improving learning outcomes. Our team is excited to join ALLEN to create the learning platform of the future,” Aditya Shankar, Co-founder of Doubtnut said.

The specifics of the current transaction were not revealed by the companies. However, it is said to be a stress deal closed at around $10 million, according to Entrackr, which was the first to report about a potential deal between the companies.

EY served as the financial advisor to ALLEN, while Trilegal provided legal advisory services. TTA acted as the legal advisor for Doubtnut, and Aeka Advisors served as the tax advisor for Doubtnut.

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Founded in 2016 by IIT Delhi alumni Tanushree Nagori and Shankar, Doubtnut has raised a total funding of $49.9 million over six rounds, including $30.8 million in a Series B round in January 2021 from SIG Venture Capital, Sequoia Capital, and others, according to Tracxn.

Doubtnut’s revenue was Rs 15.2 crore, and its losses mounted to Rs 179.2 crore in the financial year 2021-22, according to the company’s annual financial statements.

In April, reports indicated that Doubtnut had downsized its workforce during discussions about a possible acquisition. Nagori confirmed workforce rationalisation but refuted rumours of an acquisition at that time.

A month later, in a conversation with YourStory, Aman Maheshwari, Managing Director of ALLEN Global Studies, shared that the firm intended to foster growth through both organic and inorganic means.

In May 2022, ALLEN bagged funding of $600 million from Bodhi Tree Systems. The company has allocated 20% of its funds towards mergers and acquisitions—Maheshwari had said, with some of these acquisitions happening by the end of this year or next.

ALLEN recorded a profit of Rs 429 crore, with its revenue from operations touching Rs 2,277 crore for the financial year 2022-23, as per its financial statements. 

Founded in 1988, ALLEN has consolidated its position as a major coaching institute in the country—particularly for entrance exams in medicine and engineering—with more than 200 classroom centres in 53 cities in India, coaching over 2.8 million students.

Under its digital arm ALLEN Digital, the firm has launched interactive learning websites and mobile apps, catering to various undergraduate and postgraduate courses. It has also made several key hires at the C-suite level in the last year to ensure it has the requisite leadership at the top to spearhead its digital business.

Edited by Kanishk Singh