upGrad Education Private Limited, an Indian ed-tech startup, has reportedly boosted its valuation twofold following a fresh funding round of USD 225 million led by Lupa Systems LLC and Educational Testing Service. Other key participants included ArcelorMittal SA, Bharti Airtel, and existing investor Temasek Holdings Pte.
According to sources close to the situation, the second close of the funding round is expected to earn another USD 100 million to a higher valuation.
At a time when venture capital sentiments around the world have significantly weakened and most Indian ed-tech startups in the K-12 vertical have either ceased operations, scaled back expansion plans, or begun downsizing, upGrad has managed to defy the odds with unforeseen fundraising.
It has survived the downturn ripple by concentrating solely on its higher education niche, indulging its older customers who were looking for expertise and upgrading them with an additional degree or assisting them in cracking tests for the country's top-tier medical, engineering, and management schools.
The Mumbai-based upGrad, founded in 2015 by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, and Phalgun Kompalli, covers all aspects of higher learning, from test prep to studying abroad as well as undergraduate courses affiliated with over 250 universities.
It is worth noting that the company is striving for USD 500 million in gross revenue this fiscal year, with the prediction of collegiates and working professionals accounting for nearly 75% of the forecast numbers.
Screwvala mentioned that there was an unquenchable thirst for upskilling to diplomas and doctorates among the people, and all of these will lead to a notable outcome in the form of a new job, a raise, or a promotion, which will help set a benchmark for India’s higher education diaspora.
Speaking of the future, he also stated that global expansion and an IPO for upGrad are in the works, to establish a USD 30-40 billion company.