upGrad, an integrated learning and workforce development startup, reported a substantial revenue increase in FY23. The company's gross revenue reached Rs 1,530 crore, but when adjusted for the IndAS accounting standard, the revenue stood at Rs 1,194 crore.
This marks a 96% jump from the previous year's Rs 608 crore. Despite this impressive growth, upGrad's adjusted EBITDA loss remained stable at around Rs 558 crore, similar to the previous year's Rs 572 crore.
Cost management and expense allocation
upGrad's financial strategy included a notable reduction in marketing costs, which decreased to 19% of total costs (Rs 371 crore) compared to the previous year's 33% (Rs 403 crore). Employee costs, however, remained the highest expense, accounting for 36% of the total, amounting to Rs 707 crore.
This includes non-cash costs for ESOP accounting. Direct costs also saw a significant increase, rising 1.8 times to Rs 382 crore, in line with the company's investment in content development and delivery.
The company incurred Rs 584 crore worth of non-cash expenses in FY23, including goodwill write-off, depreciation, and finance costs. Despite these expenses, upGrad's bottom line remained flat, with a loss of Rs 558 crore, similar to the previous year.
The company highlighted its strong financial health with close to 80% gross margins, zero net debt, and one of the best ROCE ratios among new-age companies.
Crossing 10 million learner base mark
upGrad's learner base crossed the 10 million mark, with a 54% growth in paid learners year-over-year. The company also reported servicing 1,110 enterprise clients in FY23 and expects to retain at least 75% of these clients in the next fiscal year.
The enterprise arm of upGrad expanded globally, projecting a higher share of international revenue in the coming year.
Focusing on profitable growth
Mayank Kumar, Co-founder & MD of upGrad, said the company focuses on achieving profitable growth and long-term investment in the skilling, careers, and job placement sectors.
He claimed that upGrad is on track to be operationally profitable by the second half of FY24 and continues exploring growth opportunities in Asia and globally. Notably, upGrad achieved unicorn status in August 2021 and has since acquired several startups, positioning itself strongly in the edtech sector without resorting to layoffs.
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