upGrad Closes $210 Mn Funding Amid Edtech Layoff Season

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Investors in the round include ETS Global, Bodhi Tree and Kaizen Management Advisors alongside several family offices and existing investors

upGrad is looking to increase its headcount to 7,600 from the current 4,800

It is eyeing a revenue of $400 Mn-$500 Mn and taking the students’ headcount to 3 Mn in FY23

Ronnie Screwvala’s edtech unicorn upGrad has raised $210 Mn in funding at an undisclosed valuation from ETS Global, Bodhi Tree and Kaizen Management Advisors. 

The family offices of Bharti Airtel, Narotam Sekhsaria (Ambuja Cements), and Artisan Investments (Lakshmi Mittal) along with existing investors Temasek, IFC and IIFL also participated in the round. 

Founder Group, too, has invested $12.5 Mn in this round to maintain their >50% ownership in upGrad, the company said in a statement.

Bloomberg reported the round in June 2022, when Screwvala confirmed the funding amount and the report quoted sources on an additional $100 Mn funding, targeting a revenue of $500 Mn in FY23. 

According to the company’s recent numbers, upGrad is on track to record annual gross revenue of $400 Mn – $500 Mn during FY23. It confirmed that its in-house online courses and programs would account for about 45% of the total revenue.

The edtech unicorn’s latest round comes at a time when the industry is plagued with massive layoffs. According to Inc42’s layoff tracker, edtech startups Unacademy, WhiteHat Jr, Toppr, Crejo.Fun and many more accounted for almost 35% (at 4K+) of the total 11.3K+ layoffs.

To note, upGrad is looking to increase its headcount to 7,600 from the current 4,800. Additionally, it will hire 170+ full-time faculty, 1,600+ teachers and over 5K on-contract coaches and mentors.

The startup, founded in 2015, offers upskilling courses to college students and working professionals and competes with Coursera, Simplilearn and Udemy. Even as offices and colleges open and the segment has witnessed a slowdown, upGrad claims to remain bullish with its program completion rate of over 80%. It claims that 40% of the company’s total revenue is realised from repeats and referrals.

The startup last raised $185 Mn in August 2021 at a unicorn valuation. upGrad claims to have around a million students on its platform and its student count will rise to 3 Mn by the end of FY23, Screwvala had previously said.

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