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Edtech Unicorn upGrad Acquires Data Science Institute INSOFE In $33 Mn Share Swap Deal

Edtech Unicorn upGrad Acquires Data Science Institute INSOFE In $33 Mn Share Swap Deal

INSOFE is an education institution with focus on data science, AI, and ML. Its revenue will cross $13 Mn (INR 100 Cr) this year

Three weeks ago, upGrad completed the acquisition of higher education startup Talentedge

upGrad entered the unicorn club in August 2021, after raising a total of $185 Mn from Temasek, International Finance Corporation

Mumbai-based edtech unicorn upGrad has acquired the International School of Engineering (INSOFE) in a $33 Mn share swap deal.

INSOFE is an education institution with focus on data science, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML). Its revenue will cross $13 Mn (INR 100 Cr) this year and is profitable, according to a press statement. 

Headquartered in Hyderabad, INSOFE’s management and investors will take a little under 1% equity in upGrad at a valuation of $2 Bn, as per the transaction.

This acquisition will give upGrad an edge in AI and ML courses, which are becoming popular in India due to the rising demand for talent with these skills from corporates and startups.

upGrad learners will get classroom options in many programs. INSOFE and Atlas SkillTech University (sponsored and supported by upGrad) will launch a series of specialised programs, it said. 

With more than 4,000 alumni and 10,000 corporate learners along with seven partnerships with leading universities around the world, INSOFE was founded in 2011 by Sreerama K. Murthy, and Dakshinamurthy Kolluru. It has a presence in the US, UK, France, Canada and India.

Just three weeks ago, upGrad completed the acquisition of higher education startup Talentedge. The deal was first announced in December 2021, and upGrad has now finished integrating Delhi NCR-based Talentedge within its group of companies. Talentedge was valued at $27 Mn and the near 100% share swap transaction was done at an upGrad value of $2 Bn.

Ronnie Screwvala-led upGrad acquired Mumbai-based Work Better in January this year for an undisclosed amount to strengthen its enterprise learning and development (L&D) offerings. 

With this, Work Better’s team will fully join upGrad For Business (a B2B arm), bringing its 300+ corporate clients and 250+ trainers to upGrad. 

upGrad entered the unicorn club in August 2021, after raising a total of $185 Mn from Temasek, International Finance Corporation.

In 2020, upGrad acquired recruitment and staffing solutions startup Rekrut India and Bengaluru-based coaching institute The Gate Academy

upGrad competitors BYJU’S has already acquired 10 companies and Unacademy bought five companies so far to strengthen their positions in the market.

Founded in 2015 by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, Phalgun Kompalli and Ravijot Chugh, upGrad offers higher education courses in collaboration with various universities. It claims to have a million users globally, of which 45,000 are paid students. 

“INSOFE adds a research & development component in AI and ML to upGrad’s large education service basket and helps upGrad create exciting novel services for corporates and students globally,” said Mayank Kumar MD and cofounder, upGrad.

upGrad claims to have a learner base of more than 2 Mn across 100+ countries and over 300 university partners, with a client base of 1,000 companies worldwide. 

“INSOFE’s depth in AI and ML coupled with upGrad’s partner and student base makes a powerful combination to assume a leadership position in AI education and research. We are excited to come together and leverage our excellence centers in Hyderabad and Bangalore that will match up with anyone around the globe,” said Sreerama K. Murthy, cofounder, and CEO, INSOFE. 

Meanwhile, upGrad has seen its loss widen by almost 2.6X in FY21. The startup posted a consolidated loss after tax of INR 211 Cr in FY21, a 167.8% rise from the INR 78.8 Cr it witnessed in FY20. 

However, it has seen its revenue from operations grow almost by 2X in the financial year ending on March 31, 2021, i.e., FY21. upGrad has posted a consolidated revenue worth INR 302 Cr from its operations, a 86% rise from the INR 162.3 Cr it recorded in FY20. 

The total revenue from operations includes revenue from the sale of products, and total revenue from operations other than finance. The Temasek-backed edtech startup posted INR 60 Lakh under its ‘other income’ segment in FY21, thus taking the total revenue of upGrad in FY21 to INR 302.6 Cr, a significant rise from INR 162.5 Cr it clocked in FY20.