Byju’s has acquired US digital reading platform Epic, focused on kids 12 and under, for $500 million. The acquisition will bolster Byju’s strategy to grow its footprint in the US. The development is part of the Bengaluru-based edtech player’s plan to invest $1 billion in North America.Byju’s has made multiple big acquisitions in the past year, including those of WhiteHat Jr for $300 million, and Aakash Educational Services for nearly $1 billion. It acquired US-based Osmo, a maker of educational games, for $120 million two years ago. Recently, Byju’s and Walt Disney launched a co-branded learning app targeted at kindergarten to class 3 students.“Byju’s is redefining the way kids are learning to use tech as a strong enabler, both to create interactive formats that are engaging and, more importantly, to personalise books that are recommended to kids based on their reading proficiency,”Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of Byju’s, said.Byju’s has to date raised some $2.7 billion from investors, much of that in the past year, and the company was valued at $16.5 billion in the last round of funding. Epic, Raveendran said, is the largest B2C edtech platform for this age group in the US. “Reading is a powerful format of learning. By creating a love of reading, you’re creating a love for learning,” he said. Epic’s global user base includes more than two million teachers and 50 million kids, a number that has doubled over the past year. The company works on a subscription model. Epic co-founder & CEO Suren Markosian said that the platform is designed to personalise reading for kids, putting the right book in front of the right child. “Epic adjusts to their interest levels and the platform learns and grows with the child,” he said. The company has 150-odd employees. Markosian and co-founder Kevin Donahue will remain in their roles. Epic has raised $51 million in funding to date.