Edtech startup upGrad joins unicorn club at a valuation of $1.2 billion

upGrad, a Mumbai-based startup that works primarily in higher education and upskilling courses, raised $185 million in a new financing round valued at $1.2 billion, bringing it into the unicorn startup club. The company is now the third edtech unicorn and the 20th Indian startup to join the unicorn club in 2021.

The financing round was led by Singapore’s Temasek, with participation from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and IIFL. The first tier of this unnamed round, valued at approximately $120 million — was completed in April at a valuation of more than $600 million.

Speaking on the development, Ronnie Screwvala, co-founder and chairperson of UpGrad, said “We are pleased with the investor interest ever since we opened up for fundraise, and had our maiden raise from Temasek, followed by IFC and IIFL in the last 60 days.”

Upgrad Education Private Limited is a provider of online higher education. Data sciences, digital marketing and communication, product management, and software development programs are all available on its platform.

Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, Phalgun Kompalli, and Ravijot Chugh founded upGrad on March 01, 2015, which offers higher education courses in collaboration with various universities. It claims to have a million users worldwide, 45,000 of whom are paid, students.

Just a few days back,  the company had announced the acquisition of US-based edtech firm KnowledgeHut for an undisclosed sum. Post-acquisition, KnowledgeHut will operate as a wholly-owned entity of upGrad.

The move came just a few weeks after upGrad set aside $250 million for mergers and acquisitions to fuel non-linear growth over the next seven to nine months.

UpGrad acquired Rekrut India, a recruitment and staffing solutions company, and The Gate Academy, a coaching institute in Bengaluru, in 2020. (TGA). The company raised INR 50 Cr in debt from the IIFL Income Opportunities Fund in August of last year. In April of this year, the edtech startup raised $40 million from IFC at a valuation of $850 million.

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