Mumbai-based higher education-focused edtech platform upGrad is reportedly in advanced talks with Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund Temasek and World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) to raise $100 Mn in a fresh funding round. The company is raising the capital at a valuation of $450 Mn-$500 Mn.
According to a Moneycontrol report, which cited unnamed sources, Temasek is looking to invest about $50 Mn in the startup, whereas IFC has committed about $45 Mn. However, the three parties are still involved in last-minute negotiations and the deal is not yet finalised.
Founded in 2015 by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, Phalgun Kompalli and Ravijot Chugh, upGrad focuses on higher education courses by tying up with universities in India and abroad. Besides this, it also provides technical skill development training to professionals for in-demand jobs.
It aims to help working professionals and students by providing them with university education online through structured programmes and facilities which include courses on new-age technologies, product development, digital marketing, management, entrepreneurship among others. upGrad claims to have over half-a-million users globally, of which 30K are said to be paying users.
upGrad last raised $6.8 Mn (INR 50 Cr) in venture debt funding round in August 2020, after it had reinstated full salaries for all its employees following a 30% pay cut during the initial months of Covid-induced lockdowns.
The company reported a loss of INR 79 Cr in the financial year 2020, representing an 84% year-on-year growth from FY2019 INR 43 Cr in losses. The company’s revenue also increased by 95% from INR 85 Cr to INR 163 Cr in FY2020, but with a 86% increase in expenses from INR 129 Cr to INR 241 Cr.
As it focussed on areas beyond learning, upgrad is looking to offer end-to-end support for learners across the lifecycle – from learning to employment. It acquired recruitment and staffing solutions company Rekrut India in December 2020. The acquisition is said to have brought upGrad an extensive network of 100+ recruiting experts and hiring-related technology for corporates, startups, MSME and large enterprises.
Besides this, upGrad also acquired a Bengaluru-based coaching institute The Gate Academy to foray into the test preparation market. It had outlined plans to invest over $13.7 Mn (INR 100 Cr) into the test preparation subsidiary for content creation in multiple languages and target 1 Mn test-takers annually.