Higher education-focussed platform upGrad on Tuesday said it has acquired edtech company KnowledgeHut. While upGrad did not disclose the financial details of the transaction, the announcement comes within weeks of the company earmarking USD 250 million for mergers and acquisitions to drive non-linear growth for the next seven to nine months.
With the acquisition of KnowledgeHut, upGrad is venturing into the short duration upskilling and reskilling segment which has a market potential of over USD 58 billion, a statement said.
“To leverage this market opportunity, the combined might will allow KnowledgeHut – now rebranded as ‘KnowledgeHut, an upGrad company’ to offer learners a scalable and immersive learning model, to upskill and help them drive meaningful career outcomes, through its next-gen flagship learning experience platform, PRISM,” it added.
Post-acquisition, KnowledgeHut will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of upGrad. Subramanyam Reddy, founder and Director of KnowledgeHut, will be at the helm in his new role as the CEO.
With this acquisition, upGrad will have access to KnowledgeHut’s global learner pool of 2.5 lakh.
KnowledgeHut, now an upGrad Company, is expected to cross Rs 300 crore (USD 40 million) revenue next year – 65 per cent of which will be from countries across North America, Middle East, and South-East Asia, the statement said.
Founded by Subramanyam Reddy in 2011, KnowledgeHut is an edtech company that aims to equip the global workforce with the skills of the future through outcome-based immersive learning.
KnowledgeHut has trained over 2,50,000 professionals and empowered over 500 enterprises. It has product offerings of over 200 courses across in-demand areas of web development, machine learning/AI and data science, Agile and Project Management, IT service management, cybersecurity and cloud computing.
“With KnowledgeHut on board, our focus on being an integrated LifeLongLearning partner for powering career success for the global 1 billion workforce just got stronger. KnowledgeHut’s presence in over 70 countries will further upGrad’s ambition of liberalising quality online education around the world,” upGrad Chairperson and co-founder Ronnie Screwvala said.
Reddy said with its focus on short-term professional upskilling, KnowledgeHut is driving outcome-based immersive learning for global technologists and the wider professional community.
“Given our position in global markets, this synergy with upGrad will further strengthen and support that vision. The acquisition paves the way for upGrad to empower B2B customer segments across geographies including the US and the Asia Pacific,” he added.
The edtech space has seen strong growth globally, including in India, with the COVID-19 pandemic serving as an inflection point.
Many offline classes went online to ensure continuity of education while adhering to social distancing norms. Several players have raised fresh funding from investors and consolidation was seen with deals like Unacademy acquiring PrepLadder and Byju’s slew of acquisitions of Aakash Educational Services, Great Learning and US-based Epic.