Higher education edtech platform UpGrad, which offers online courses in various streams, has raised its first-ever external funding by raising nearly $120 Mn from Singapore based investment giant Temasek. No other investor has participated in the funding round. Since its inception in 2015, UpGrad has been a bootstrapped startup and has been backed by its co-founding team including Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, Ravijot Chugh and Phalgun Kompalli.
Temasek’s funding must have obviously led to a partial or minimal dilution of all the co-founder’s stake in the company
UpGrad has maintained a silence over the valuation it has commended in the latest round but reports claim that Temasek’s funding has soared the company’s valuation to nearly $600Mn. Screwvala has clearly hinted that his company will be aggressively bidding for a unicorn tag as it seeks to raise more external funding in next 3 to 5 months.
The Mumbai-based startup’s first-ever external funding marks its soaring ambition as it looks for global expansion and seeks to penetrate further into India’s burgeoning education market. The major chunk of the capital is likely to be used for accelerating company’s presence in key markets like US, UK, Middle-East and the Asia Pacific.
The company will also be using the capital for an aggressive M&A strategy, a strategy that it has been following with great penchant off late. The Mumbai based firm was recently in news for acquiring The Gate Academy and Rekrut India. The acquisition of Rekrut India especially makes for an interesting acquisition since it serves sort of a hint that the UpGrad is planning to add a new vertical by foraying into recruitment and HR.
Upgrad has a pretty healthy market traction by its side, boasting a annual revenue rate of $165 Mn and is aiming for a $2 Bn revenue by 2026. Last year, the company claimed that its performance in FY21 Q1 was better than expected and buoyed by this performance it repealed the salary cut decision that was enforced in the wake of COVID crisis.