Amazon is closing its online learning division, Amazon Academy, in India due to the slump in edtech. The portal, which was introduced in early 2021 during the pandemic-driven edtech boom, operated in the “test prep” market and provided online coaching for entrance examinations like the IIT-JEE and NEET.
“Amazon will discontinue Amazon Academy’s operations in a phased manner, starting August 2023, when our existing batch completes its test preparation module. We remain committed to our customers and want to assure them that this decision will have no impact on our services,” the company said in a statement.
Customers of Amazon Academy will receive a year’s worth of access to the complete course materials online (until October 2024). Additionally, Amazon said that individuals enrolling in the current academic batch will receive a full refund of the money.
Students had access to a variety of mock exams, question banks, practise questions, solved test papers from prior years, as well as daily tips and techniques through Amazon Academy, which has had over 5 million downloads on Google Play. The opportunity to filter questions by the level of difficulty (easy, medium, and hard) and to compare their JEE rankings with those of other applicants was also available to students.
Commenting on the impending shutdown of the vertical, an Amazon spokesperson said, “At Amazon, we think big, experiment, and invest in new ideas to delight customers. We also continually evaluate the progress and potential of our products and services to deliver customer value, and we regularly make adjustments based on those assessments. Following an assessment, we have made the decision to discontinue Amazon Academy.”
This shutdown occurs at a time when the edtech sector is experiencing a financial winter that has led to widespread layoffs. According to Tracxn, the top 11 edtech start-ups in India, including BYJU’S, Unacademy, and Vedantu, have fired almost 7,000 workers as of early November.
Given the lacklustre demand for online learning as the pandemic’s impact started to decrease, Unacademy, which competes with Amazon Academy in the test prep area, has likewise shifted focus to physical centres.