India: Edtech startup upGrad consolidates subsidiaries into one single unit

Ronnie Screwvala is former head of UTV. Photo: S. Kumar/Mint

Ronnie Screwvala-led edtech, upGrad, is merging its three subsidiaries–upGrad Campus (formerly Impartus), upGrad Jeet (formerly The GATE Academy), and upGrad KnowledgeHut (formerly KnowledgeHut)–into one single parent unit, as the company looks to execute an integrated strategy.

According to upGrad, the combined entity will be called upGrad Education Pvt. Ltd. and will offer technology offerings and solutions for life-long learning.

Earlier this year, upGrad had acquired upskilling platform KnowledgeHut and video-learning solutions provider Impartus for roughly $35 million and $20 million, respectively. Last year, the company also announced the acquisition of competitive test preparation platform, The GATE Academy, marking its foray into the space.

According to upGrad, the merged entity would cover the entire gamut of higher learning offerings catering to college learners. With the consolidation, product offerings from these subsidiaries will be integrated to provide a single customer-facing solution and technology platform.

With the focus on integrated lifelong learning, the merged entity would support college learners with undergrad degrees, study abroad programs, campus programs, government test preparation courses and job linked programs.

On the other hand, upGrad will continue to focus on its original core offerings for working professionals including short form courses, masters programs, doctoral and executive programs.

“The merger of all the India entities is to strengthen the corporate structure and consolidate our position as a truly integrated edtech player and provide a strong foundation for our global strategy. Brand upGrad is built based on the impact we create for our learners lives and the outcomes we deliver to them. We want the upGrad brand to permeate the full range of our offerings and so the one merged entity makes sense,” said Ronnie Screwvala, chairperson and co-founder, upGrad, in a statement.

Screwala added that upGrad’s international operations across Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle-East, Africa and the US will continue to operate as independent subsidiaries.

So far, upGrad has made close to 7 acquisitions till date. This year, it set aside a corpus of $250 million for potential acquisitions to drive its inorganic international growth over the next 7-9 months.

Through the acquisition of KnowledgeHut, upGrad was looking to double down its presence in geographies of North America, West Asia and Southeast Asia, as it marked its entry into the short-duration courses segment.

It also looked to provide technology-led learning solutions to colleges and educational institutes in the country, through acquiring Impartus early this year.

In August, upGrad became the third Indian edtech startup to achieve unicorn status as the company announced the close of its $185 million equity funding round, which saw participation from Temasek Holdings, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and IIFL. The company was valued at $1.2 billion after the raise.

The company is in talks to raise another $400 million at a valuation of $4 billion, Mint had reported in August citing sources.

upGrad is looking to touch 7.5 million registered users by 2024, partnering more than 1,200 universities, 3,000 corporates. It is also mulling expanding its network of faculty, mentors, and experts to over 11,000.

Currently, upGrad has over 300 university partnerships with over 2 million registered users across 50 countries. It also counts close to 1,000 companies worldwide as clients, offering their employees upskilling solutions.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.