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NIIT buys ed-tech startup Perceptron to boost digital play

Rahul Patwardhan, CEO, NIIT

Rahul Patwardhan, CEO, NIIT

NIIT Ltd said on Tuesday it has acquired Bengaluru-based ed-tech startup Perceptron Learning Solutions Pvt. Ltd to strengthen its digital offerings.

The IT training and skills development company didn’t disclose terms of the deal.

The acquisition will bring together the complementary technology platforms and capabilities of NIIT and Perceptron, NIIT said in a statement. This will enable NIIT to accelerate its digital transformation initiatives – StackRoute, digiNxt, and Training.com, it added.

NIIT CEO Rahul Patwardhan said the acquisition will strengthen the company’s leadership position in the digital learning segment. He added that NIIT will continue to look for innovative startups in the ed-tech segment.

Perceptron co-founder and CEO Satish Sukumar will join as chief technology officer of StackRoute Labs.

NIIT’s StackRoute Labs aims to build competencies in areas such as machine learning, Internet of Things and full-stack product engineering. StackRoute Labs builds intellectual property, offers consulting services and creates advanced courses such as the full-stack boot camps delivered at StackRoute and NIIT’s DigiNxt platforms.

Perceptron was set up in 2014 by Sukumar along with Feroz Sheikh. Sukumar previously led the team that built the EduNxt learning platform at Manipal Education. He was part of the founding team for Internet software company Planetasia and set up Veloz Global Solution’s product engineering and R&D centre in India. Sheikh, who is also the head of engineering at Perceptron, is an alumnus of Delhi College of Engineering.

Perceptron’s learning platform, Ilimi, combines predictive analytics, semantic computing and digital transformation technologies, the statement said.

India’s ed-tech segment has seen a lot of action this year with several startups attracting investors. The most funded ed-tech startup in online tutorial company Byju’s, which raised $75 million from Sequoia India and Belgian investment firm Sofina in March and $50 million more earlier this month in a round co-led by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation.

Other ed-tech startups that have raised funding this year include Oliveboard, Unacademy and CollegeDekho.com. In a takeover deal, Hyderabad-based Next Education India Pvt. Ltd acquired Mumbai’s InOpen Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a firm that develops educational content and teacher training solutions, in February.

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