Popular online teaching platform BYJU's announced on Monday that it has acquired Aakash Educational Services Limited, a chain of physical coaching centres in the country, for nearly $1 billion.The online education firm paid $600 million in cash and the rest in stocks to acquire the offline teaching mammoth. This is one of the largest deals in the ed-tech space.Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director of Aakash Educational, said that the acquisition will enable the two companies to build the largest omnichannel student learning hub in India.He suggested that the offline presence of Aakash and the online approach of BYJU's will offer students a flexible way of learning.According to some reports, Aakash will be led by the current administration even after the acquisition.BYJU's co-founder, Byju Raveendran, said that the future of education will "blend offline and online".According to him, an online-only model for a few of BYJU's offerings such as its test preparation services is still years away. This is where BYJU's will use Aakash's offline network.The deal is also focused on expanding the reach of BYJU's and Aakash to smaller towns and cities.