HomeBUSINESSUpGrad pockets $210 mn in fresh funding

UpGrad pockets $210 mn in fresh funding


NEW DELHI: Upskilling unicorn upGrad on Monday said it has secured $210 million, or around 1,638 crore, in a fresh round of funding from a clutch of investors including ETS Global, Bodhi Tree –a joint venture of James Murdoch and Uday Shankar–and Singapore’s Kaizen Management Advisors Pvt Ltd.

The round also saw participation from the family office of Bharti Airtel, Narotam Sekhsaria family office (Ambuja Cements and ACC) and Artisan Investments (family office of Lakshmi Mittal – ArcelorMittal), with existing investors Temasek, IFC, and IIFL also participating.

Mumbai-based upGrad’s founder group invested $12.5 million in the round to maintain their over 50% ownership in the company, it said in a statement.

With the latest fundraise, upGrad looks to increase its team strength to 7,600 from the present 4,800. It also aims to onboard around 170 full-time faculty, 1,600 teachers and over 5,000 on-contract coaches and mentors, the statement added.

UpGrad Education Pvt. Ltd, which runs the upGrad platform, was founded in 2015 by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar and Phalgun Kompalli. This year so far, the company has made five acquisitions, including Exampur, taking the total tally to ten deals till date.

“UpGrad in the last 12 months has reshaped itself in this space with career opportunities for the college learners and working professionals from the age of 18 to 58 and will be a life long learning partner for millions in the coming years,“ said upGrad Co-founders, Ronnie Screwvala and Mayank Kumar in a joint statement.

upGrad has remained bullish with its programme completion rate of over 80%. About 40% of the company’s total revenue is realised from repeats and referrals year-on-year,as per the statement.

The edtech industry, which boomed during the pandemic as teaching moved online, has witnessed major funding crunch and moderation in valuations with the reopening of educational institutions. With a focus on conserving costs, several have resorted to mass layoffs and trimming discretionary spending.

Over the past several months, edtech unicorns Byju’s, Unacademy, Vedantu and other smaller players such as Lido Learning, FrontRow, Udayy, and SuperLearn have either fired or asked hundreds of employees to leave as they shut some of their operations to cut costs.Besides edtech, the broader startup ecosystem has also suffered large layoffs with companies like FrontRow, Meesho, CityMall, Mobile Premier League, Cars24, MFine, Furlenco and Trell firing employees over the past few months.

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