Amazon is shutting down its online learning platform in India

Amazon will shut down Amazon Academy, an online learning platform that launched in India for high school students last year, the company said on Thursday.

The retailer says it will phase out the edtech service in the country from August 2023. Those who signed up for the current academic group will receive a full refund, it said.

Amazon officially launched Academy, previously called JEE Ready, beginning of last yearbut i tested the platform from mid-2019. The academy aims to help students prepare for entry into the country’s prestigious engineering colleges.

The service offers curated study materials, live lectures, mock tests and comprehensive assessments to help students study and practice mathematics, physics and chemistry and prepare for the Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE), a government-backed engineering entrance assessment, conducted in India for admission in various engineering colleges in the country.

The comprehensive offering from the firm has led some to believe that Amazon could be making a big foray into the education market and could pose a threat to new entrants like Byju’s, Unacademy and Vedantu.

The home page of the Amazon Academy website. (Image: Amazon)

More than 260 million children go to school in India, and a large part of the population sees education as the key to economic progress and a better life. Facebook too invested in Unacademy, a Bangalore-based startup that offers online training courses. Google which invests in Indian edtech startup Quemat, also partnered with CBSE to train more than 1 million teachers in India and offer a range of free tools such as G Suite for Education, Google Classroom and YouTube to help digitize the nation’s educational experience.

“At Amazon, we think big, experiment and invest in new ideas to delight customers. We also continually assess the progress and potential of our products and services to deliver value to customers and regularly make adjustments based on those assessments,” an Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch.

“After evaluation, we have made the decision to discontinue Amazon Academy. We are phasing out this program to take care of current customers.”

The company did not share why it was closing Academy, but ET Prime (paywalled), which was the first reported the developmentsaid the move was part of ongoing cost-cutting measures.

Amazon plans to cut about 10,000 jobsaccording to media reports, and began eliminating roles in some divisions, including devices and services earlier this month. Amazon also shut down teams making AWS tutorials and other online courses, Business Insider reported reported.

In a memo that Amazon made public, CEO Andy Jassy said there would be more layoffs next year.

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