Mumbai based higher education startup upGrad becomes India’s 21st Unicorn Startup in 2021. upGrad is India’s 3rd Edtech startup unicorn after BYJU’s and Unacademy.
After raising $185 Million in a continuous round which was led by Temasek ($120 million), IFC ($40 million), and India Infoline Finance ($25 million). The startup is now valued at $1.2 Billion.
The founders of upGrad, Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, and Phalgun Kompalli, still holds 70% stake in the company.
Commenting on the new unicorn status, Founder-Chairman Ronnie Screwvala said,
“We are pleased with the investor interest ever since we opened up for a fundraise, and had our maiden raise from Temasek, followed by IFC and IIFL in the last 60 days. We will announce further updates on M&As, and unlocking value as they unfold. The valuation is at $1.2 billion, but as I keep saying, we are not a fan of the tag ‘unicorn’. For us, it is only a means to a much larger goal.”
“We are very focused on our path to being in the top three to five companies in global edtech, and serving a one-billion workforce across the 18 to 60 age group,” he added.
Screwvala said in a statement,
“The definition of ‘Best places to work’ for is changing dramatically. The new benchmark will have companies, where you have the maximum learning and growth opportunities. ESOP is still a less understood and appreciated currency that allows team members to take a much longer-term view on their current place of work.”
Some media reports suggest that upGrad is in further talks to raise a $400 million round at a $4 billion valuation. The company neither confirmed nor denied it.
upGrad’s unicorn status comes at a time when India’s edtech sector is flush with funding, with market leaders earning a “disproportionate premium”, according to investors. Add to that, there’s definite consolidation underway.
upGrad too has upped its M&A game. In May, it acquired Impartus, a video-enabled learning solutions provider. And last week, it scooped up professional training startup KnowledgeHut to expand in overseas markets.
The startup has earmarked $250 million to drive inorganic growth. Its upskilling platform currently offers over 100 professional courses from global universities, and has impacted more than one million registered learners from 50 countries.