Bodhi Tree Systems, the investment platform by former 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch and ex-Disney executive Uday Shankar, has announced to invest $600 million and acquire a strategic stake in Allen Career Institute, the Kota-based test prep institute which has a pan-India footprint with a growing presence in the Middle East.
The investment in Allen is Bodhi Tree’s second major backing in a week. Last week, the firm announced its partnership with Mukesh Ambani-backed television network Viacom18 by investing $1.78 billion in the company.
Allen Career Institute, founded by Rajesh Maheshwwari in 1988, is a premier coaching institute for the preparation of JEE (Mains and Advanced), pre-medical (NEET-UG), classes 6 to 10, NTSE, and Olympiads. The institute operates 138 classroom centres across 46 cities in the country. Allen said it will work with Bodhi Tree to broaden its test-prep offering and deliver an at-scale positive impact for millions of students in test-prep and K12 segments, using technology as the core driver of value.
"Education is a critical consumer need, driven by its deeply transformative impact on lives and livelihoods of consumers. We believe that education is on the cusp of a technology-led renaissance that will fundamentally alter how education is imparted and will increase its efficacy. Allen’s unrivaled success and scale provide the right foundation to build the digital education company of the future. We are excited to work with the Maheshwari family to build an outcomes-focused digital education company that delivers on the aspirations of millions of learners and parents in India and beyond," Murdoch and Shankar said in a joint statement.
Rajesh Maheshwari said the investment will help scale Allen’s Indian operations through technology and expand its base in the Middle East.
Speaking about the company and its partnership with Bodhi Tree, Maheshwari said in a statement,
"Since its inception, Allen has focused on providing high-quality education to students to help them achieve their highest potential and fulfill their career aspirations. In the process, we have helped create hundreds of thousands of doctors and engineers, who contribute to building India and the society of today. Our partnership with Bodhi Tree is an essential ingredient in furthering our mission to significantly increase Allen’s reach and impact."
The transaction is expected to close within three months and is subject to closing conditions and requisite approvals.
Bodhi Tree Systems is a newly-formed investment platform between James Murdoch and Uday Shankar. It makes strategic investments in consumer technology sectors across South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East, with a particular focus on India. Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar, is an investor in the platform.