Amazon to close down its edtech platform in India


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Ishan Patra ( )

Amazon said on Thursday that it will close Amazon Academy, an edtech platform for students to prepare for competitive entrance examinations.

The ecommerce giant will discontinue the online platform’s operations in a phased manner, starting in August 2023, Amazon stated, adding that people who have enrolled in the current academic batch will receive a refund of the full fee.

The edtech service, launched in January last year, offered students with knowledge and practice routines required for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), through curated learning material, live lectures, and assessments in Math, Physics and Chemistry.

According to the company, Amazon Academy customers will be able to access full course material through the online platform for an extended period of a year, until October 2024.

“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, an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “Following an assessment, we have made the decision to discontinue Amazon Academy. We are winding down this program in a phased manner to take care of current customers.”

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This development comes at a time when edtech unicorns are witnessing losses, laying-off employees, slowing expansion plans and trying to burn as little cash as possible amid a funding winter.

Amazon did not specify the reason behind the shutdown of its edtech platform. However, an Economics Times report noted that the Seattle-headquartered firm’s move was part of its ongoing cost-cutting measures. ET was the first to report the development.

Amazon plans to lay off approximately 10,000 people and is likely to lay off several employees in India across divisions as part of a global plan to deal with slowing sales as consumers scale back on online shopping, according to media reports.

Last month, Amazon’s muted third-quarter earnings as well as disappointing fourth-quarter projections led the company’s stock to plummet. The e-commerce giant’s third-quarter earnings were severely impacted by unpredictable consumer shopping habits and inflation.

Recently, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy shared some information about role eliminations in a note.

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