Upskilling unicorn startup upGrad has secured $210 million (est.₹1,638 crores), in a fresh round of funding led by ETS Global, Bodhi Tree - a joint venture of James Murdoch and Uday Shankar--and Singapore’s Kaizen Management Advisors Pvt Ltd. The funding round saw participation from Bharti Airtel, Narotam Sekhsaria family office (Ambuja Cements and ACC), Artisan Investments along with Temasek, IFC and IIFL.
“UpGrad in the last 12 months has reshaped itself in this space with career opportunities for the college learners and working professionals from the age of 18 to 58 and will be a lifelong learning partner for millions in the coming years,“ said upGrad Co-founders, Ronnie Screwvala and Mayank Kumar in a joint statement.
upGrad will utilise the latest funding to increase its team strength to 7,600 from the present 4,800. It also aims to onboard around 170 full-time faculty, 1,600 teachers and over 5,000 on-contract coaches and mentors, the statement added.
The founders also invested $12.5 million in the round to maintain theirs over 50% ownership of the company.
The upskilling platform was founded in 2015 by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar and Phalgun Kompalli. upGrad became a unicorn in August 2021.
The edtech industry, which boomed during the pandemic as teaching moved online, has witnessed a major funding crunch and moderation in valuations with the reopening of educational institutions. With a focus on conserving costs, several have resorted to mass layoffs and trimming discretionary spending.