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Upgrad joins unicorn club after fundraise from Temasek, IFC, IIFL

Upgrad joins unicorn club with $1.2 bn valuation as IIFL on-boards with $25 mn

Funding News

Upgrad joins unicorn club after fundraise from Temasek, IFC, IIFL

Leading online education platform Upgrad has raised its third external funding of USD 25 million from the IIFL Group, helping the re/up-skilling company join the unicorn club with a valuation of USD 1.2 billion. The Ronnie Screwvala firm got its maiden external funding in late April when the Singaporean investment giant Temasek Holdings invested USD 120 million, and in the same week the World Bank Group arm International Finance Corporation chipped in with USD 40 million, valuing it at USD 850 million.

As of August 2, 17 startups became unicorns in 2021, taking the coveted tally to close to 60 when the Pune-based Mindtickle, became one after raising USD 100-million funding round from Softbank’s Vision Fund 2. A recent Credit Suisse report said there were over 100 unicorns in the country and the number is growing at a faster pace. The new set of the 17 unicorns include — social media startup Sharechat, wealth management company Groww, messaging platform Gupshup, social commerce startup Meesho, epharmacy Pharmeasy, logistics tech startup Blackbuck, online automobile marketplace Droom, ecommerce firm Ofbusiness, fintech firm Cred, ecommerce platform Moglix, banking tech startup Zeta and SaaS software testing startup Browserstack, among others.

Also read: Log 9 Materials raises USD 8.5 mn in funding round led by Amara Raja Batteries

Upgrad, co-founded by ex-media baron Screwvala, Phalgun Kompalli, Mayank Kumar and Ravijot Chugh by investing just over Rs 170 crore in 2015, said in a statement on Monday that with the USD 25 million investment from IIFL Group, it has so far raised USD 185 million in equity capital from external investors, valuing it at USD 1.2 billion. But the statement did not disclose how much equity has been diluted to IIFL for the investment. In April, founder chairman Screwvala had told PTI that the two foreign investors now collectively own 25 per cent of the equity and the rest was with the promoters (owning a little over 70 per cent) and employees.

The pandemic had helped it grow manifold and Screwvala has set a target of doubling its revenue run rate to over Rs 2,400 crore this fiscal from Rs 1,200 crore in FY21, and Rs 230 crore in FY20. Offering over 100 courses in collaboration with top-notch global universities like Michigan State University, Liverpool John Moores University, Swiss School of Business Management, IIT Madras and IIM Kozhikode among others, Upgrad has trained over 1 million learners from across 50 countries so far and more than half of them in the past 15 months.

Last month, the largest higher online education platform in South Asia had said it earmarked USD 250 million for M&As for faster growth both in terms of revenue and footprint and offering.



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