Amazon started its edtech business during the Covid-19 pandemic, offering courses in math and science targeted at students preparing for the engineering entrance examination. It is among its newer businesses and is still small in terms of scale.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
Amazon said that it would refund the full fee to those enrolled in the current academic batch.
The Seattle-based company entered the edtech space at a time when homegrown Byju’s and Unacademy, among others, were expanding aggressively aided by tailwinds of the virus outbreak.
Amazon’s decision to shut down the academy comes at a time when the internet retailer is facing challenges at a global level as an economic slowdown and a receding pandemic have affected its ecommerce business.
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The company is laying off over 10,000 employees globally, and hundreds have been affected in India,
ET reported on November 16.
In September, research firm Bernstein published a report critical of Amazon India, saying that the company’s performance in the country was “mixed”, with continued losses despite pumping in $6.5 billion.
While the Amazon India marketplace, Amazon Seller Services, was able to cut losses by almost 23% to Rs 3,649 crore in FY22, losses at the other two businesses – payments and logistics – have widened.
The Bernstein report also said Amazon has struggled to grow business significantly in high-margin categories such as fashion and beauty and personal care, which are dominated by rivals Flipkart and Nykaa, respectively.
Attrition at management level has also increased, potentially signalling difficulties in achieving the desired scale, the report said. In the recently concluded festive season sale, the Flipkart group dominated with a 60% market share, according to a report by research firm RedSeer.