WhiteHat Jr’s CEO Karan Bajaj quits exactly a year after Byju’s acquired the company
Byju’shad acquired WhiteHat Jrfor $300 million in August 2020, and folded it into its Byju’s Future School banner. Karan Bajajwas also leading Byju’s Future School, one of the main elements of Byju’s international expansion.
- Byju’s Head of Customer Experience and Delivery, Trupti Mukker, would now lead Byju’s Future School and WhiteHat Jr.
“Under Karan’s leadership, WhiteHat Jr and BYJU’S FutureSchool now enable hundreds of thousands of students in countries around the world daily to learn and create with 11,000+ deeply committed teachers. ... Having more than exceeded all our mutually outlined goals for the 1st year, Karan is now ready, as we had mutually decided at the time of acquisition, to progress to the next chapter of his life.”
Bajaj’s exit may come as a surprise as he was also leading Byju’s Future School — one of the main elements of Byju’s international expansion plans — since earlier this year. Byju’s Future School had folded WhiteHat Jr under its banner to provide extra-curricular courses like coding, maths, music and more in international markets such as the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Brazil and Mexico.
Karan Bajaj, former Discover Network CEO, had founded WhiteHat Jr in 2018. The company started off as a platform that solely focused on live online one-on-one coding classes for kids in preschool to middle school. It was bought by Byju’s for $300 Mn. The platform has over 11,000 teachers.
WhiteHat Jr recently announced a partnership with 500 schools across India, which would add 1.25 Lakh students to its bucket.
The last one year has been extremely controversial for the WhiteHat Jr. First, it was the allegations of misleading ads that got a lot of criticism of coding-for-kids startups. Even Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) had pulled up the company to remove these ads for making dubious and unsubstantiated claims.
Second, it was allegations of silencing all critics on social media though with content removal or abuse.
Third was the infamous defamation cases against two critics — software engineer Pradeep Poonia and angel investor Aniruddha Malpani. Interestly, Malpani was also banned from Linkedin in 2020 for allegedly criticizing Byju’s and its business model. The case against Poonia was dropped in April this year.
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