upGrad will invest $16 Mn for a 100% stake in GSP and has committed another $10 Mn for its future growth.
Founded in 2015 by Elaine Starkey, GSP is a two-sided marketplace for international student recruitment with an institution network of more than 600 establishments across Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and other places. It also has more than 1,300 recruitment partners including education and migration agents, schools, test preparation centres, alumni associations, etc.
“As an Integrated EdTech leader-we span the entire gamut of a learner’s need from the age of 18-50 and in that, Study Abroad is a key growth initiative for us; not just out of India which is one of the two largest markets but also for our learners internationally. GSP coming into upGrad’s fold will be a needle mover for us to attain a headstart in being a global leader in this segment too,” said Ronnie Screwvala, chairperson and cofounder, upGrad.
According to a Redseer report, students opting for higher education abroad from India are increasing rapidly and their growth has outpaced domestic student growth by 600% in the previous three years to reach approximately 770k in 2019. This is further expected to double by 2024 to reach 1.8 Mn students, who would spend about $80 Bn abroad.
Better educational quality and outcomes abroad, higher standards of living, and gaps in the Indian education system are expected to drive this growth along with the upward income mobility of Indian households.
“I couldn’t think of a more complementary business that is underpinned by shared principles and ethics to empower learners throughout the world,” said Elaine Starkey, CEO and founder of Global Study Partners. “GSP partner institutions and recruitment partners—worldwide, will enjoy the benefits that the additional reach and capacity GSP can now deliver and they can expect significant growth in quality student enrolments.”
upGrad entered the unicorn club in August this year after raising a total of $185 Mn from Temasek, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and IIFL at a valuation of $1.2 Bn, making it the third Indian edtech startup to become a unicorn.
Last week, upGrad increased its employee stock option program (ESOPs) pool by 28% from its 17,25,810 options (UPGRAD Education-Employee Stock Option (New) Scheme, 2015) to 22,25,810 options. The revised pool’s value rose by 29% from INR 331 Cr to INR 427 C