Edtech platform upGrad has announced the acquisition of Bengaluru-based KnowledgeHut looking to make a bigger dent in international markets and venture into the lucrative short-term skilling courses market. The deal comes within weeks of upGrad earmarking $250 Mn for mergers and acquisitions through 2021 to drive inorganic growth.
Founded by Subramanyam Reddy in 2011, KnowledgeHut offers over 200 courses across in-demand areas of web development, machine learning, AI development, data science, project management, IT services management, cyber security, cloud computing and more.
Post the acquisition, KnowledgeHut will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of upGrad. Reddy will continue to lead the company in his new role as the CEO. The company will also be rebranded to ‘KnowledgeHut, an upGrad company’.
With this deal, upGrad is venturing into the short-term upskilling and reskilling segment which it claims has a market potential of over $58 Bn. This move will also allow upGrad to foray into global markets. The Mumbai-based edtech company will gain access to KnowledgeHut’s global base of 250K learners. KnowledgeHut is expected to cross INR 300 Cr in revenue next year, 65% of which will be from countries across North America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
“Given our position in global markets, this synergy with upGrad will further strengthen and support that vision. The acquisition paves the way for upGrad to empower B2B customer segments across geographies including the United States and the Asia Pacific,” Reddy added.
In April 2021, upGrad had secured $120 Mn in funding from Temasek in the company’s first external funding round followed by $40 Mn in another funding round from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). With a current valuation of $850 Mn after all the funding, upGrad could soon join BYJU’S and Unacademy in the edtech unicorn club. The company aims to achieve revenue worth $2 Bn by 2026.
Like BYJU’S and Unacademy, upGrad has also turned to acquisitions to gain new users and open up more revenue streams. While BYJU’S has acquired international edtech platforms in a bid to venture into newer markets, Unacademy is sweeping up smaller players in the Indian edtech and skill development space, as well as non-edtech domains such as video streaming platform Rheo TV.