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Third Edtech to Join the Unicorn Club With a $1.2 Billion Valuation: upGrad

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After Unacademy and Byju’s upGrad is the third edtech to join the Unicorn club this year. Started in the year 2015 upGrad was founded by Phalgun Kompalli, Mayank Kumar and Ronnie Screwvala. Their target audience were students of all age groups, whether they are school going chaps or working professionals looking to upskill themselves.

“Back in 2015, our founders noticed that the rapidly evolving industry required professionals to continuously upskill themselves as learning for professionals comes to a halt after entering a working space. This was when upGrad was formed to impact the lives of working professionals by helping them upskill while they work. With an endeavour to facilitate quality education to the future workforce through our UG and PG programs, we continue to build online learning as interactive as a classroom setup.”

According to the statement made by the founders on their official website.

The edtech on Monday said in an interview with Mint “We have closed

$185 million in external funding from Temasek Holdings, International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and IIFL at a valuation of $1.2 billion.”

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The first close of 120$ million of upGrad was with Temasek in April of this year, its very first external fundraise since it started in 2015. It also had made a statement in February about raising funds worth 45 million from International Finance Corporation.

The company now has the target to raise $400 million at a valuation of $4 billion as per a source close to the company. The new round is expected to be closed in the coming weeks with existing investors also participating as a part of the round, said one of the people quoted above to mint.

In this round of funding, IIFL has invested a sum of $20 million. Bu with this fundraise the company’s founder still have the hold over 70% of the company’s stakes. upGrad is the 21st Company to enter the Unicorn Club of the Indian ecosystem.

“We are very focussed on our path to being in the top 3-5 companies globally for edtech and serving the 1 billion workforces across the age group of 18 to 60 years. We are pleased with the investor interest ever since we opened up for a fundraise, and had our maiden raise from Temasek, followed by IFC and IIFL in the last 60 days,” said Ronnie Screwvala, chairperson and Co-founder, upGrad confirming the news to mint.

“We will announce further updates on acquisitions, and unlocking value as they unfold. Yes, the last value was at $1.2 billion, but as I keep saying, we are not a fan of the tag name unicorn – for us, it is only a means to a much larger goal,” added Screwala, in a written response.

upGrad after establishment in 2015 rose to prominence during the pandemic when education is going remote. It has garnered a great response from students from 2-3 tier cities and other smaller towns and is spreading the cutting edge technology education solution via virtual classroom systems deep into the country.

It offers 100 courses in collaboration with some top Universities like Deakin Business School (Australia), Duke CE (US), Michigan State University (US), Liverpool Business School (UK), IIT Madras (India), IIM Kozhikode (India) and others and has an audience of about 10 lakh registered students in about over 50 countries.

The pandemic has bought a sudden shift and surged interest in higher and online education among the masses. “Beyond working professionals and lifelong learners, we are witnessing a great response across age groups in India from all corners of the country. The proportion of small-town India has increased significantly on our chart because the pandemic has sent thousands of people home and they are joining online classes from their hometowns,” Mayank Kumar, Co-Founder and MD, upGrad, told IANS.

It has also introduced a subsidiary called upGrad campus, a B2C model where all types of job oriented courses are being promoted to upskill working professionals or students looking to upskill for finding jobs in the competitive market.

Which has led to an increase of over 50,000 paid learners since the pandemic. “Beyond working professionals and lifelong learners, we are witnessing a great response across age groups in India from all corners of the country. The proportion of small-town India has increased significantly on our chart because the pandemic has sent thousands of people home and they are joining online classes from their hometowns,” Mayank Kumar, Co-Founder and MD, upGrad, told IANS.

In March 2021 after joint recruitment and staffing solutions from Rekrut India which has now become a hundred per cent subsidiary of upGrad, it has enabled a career transition of about 2500 with a high salary hike of about 400% which is a package of 73 lakhs per annum.

About Pragnya Priyadarshani

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