Ronnie Screwvala-led edtech unicorn upGrad has acquired Mumbai-based Work Better for an undisclosed amount to strengthen its enterprise learning and development (L&D) offerings.
With this, Work Better founder Swapnil Kamat and the entire team will join upGrad For Business (a B2B arm), bringing its 300+ corporate clients and 250+ trainers to upGrad.
Post-acquisition, Work Better will merge into upGrad, and be renamed as upGrad Work Better, to offer tailor-made courses for employees and organisations.
Founded in 2008, Work Better offers diverse solutions ranging from sales training programs, leadership development, customer services to business communication and professional effectiveness.
Work Better’s business quite hits it off with upGrad’s B2B arm, which offers outcome-based learning modules matching the organisation’s requirements.
“Work Better has deep-rooted expertise in soft skills, sales and behaviour training. upGrad, on the other hand, is a leader in technical and hard skills training. With this consolidation, we both can leverage each other’s expertise to add further value and provide holistic solutions to customers,” Kamat said in a statement.
The education sector has undergone a profound transformation in the past two years. And that’s not limited to the K-12 segment. Consistent fund flows and the resultant M&As marked the year for edtech startups, where the space as a whole witnessed 31 M&A deals, accounting for 15% of the total 206 M&A deals in the startup universe. BYJU’s alone acquired 10 companies and Unacademy was a close second with five buyouts.
Work Better’s acquisition comes a month after upGrad, in line with the M&A swell, acquired another B2B edtech platform Talentedge to cement its position in the higher education space. In 2020, upGrad acquired recruitment and staffing solutions company Rekrut India and Bengaluru-based coaching institute The Gate Academy (TGA).
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.
Mumbai-based upGrad entered the unicorn club in August 2021, after raising a total of $185 Mn from Temasek, International Finance Corporation.
In November 2021, the edtech unicorn increased its employee stock option program (ESOPs) pool by 28% from its existing 17.25 Lakh ESOP options to 22.25 Lakh options.
Recently, it has been in the news after it filed a suit for trademark infringement against edtech startup Scaler in Delhi High Court. It has accused Scaler of using its brand name ‘upGrad’ through Google Ads.