India’s UpGrad Raises $185 Million And Enters The Unicorn Club

 Bangalore based startup UpGrad that specializes in upskilling courses and higher education specifically, raised $185 million on Monday valuing the company at $1.2 Billion making it the 21st startup to become a unicorn this year. Singapore based Temasek led the financing round and saw participation from World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and IIFL. The first part of this unnamed round for about $120 Million was completed in April of 2021 which had valued the startup at $600 million

Co-founder and Chairperson at UpGrad, in a statement, said “We are pleased with the investor interest ever since we opened up for fundraise, and had our maiden raise from Temasek, followed by IFC and IIFL in the last 60 days,” 

UpGrad has been pushing heavily for an expansion into the international markets where they would be offering students with over 100 courses across niches like data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, finance, programming, and law etc while collaborating with universities such as Michigan State University, IIT Madras and IIT Delhi, Swiss School Of Business and Management, Geneva. 

According to UpGrad, more than a million users from four dozen nations have been using the courses offered by the startup. According to the UpGrad website, they currently have over 60,000 paid students. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone across the globe, UpGrad has seen substantial growth as students haven’t been to school and the whole educational ecosystem has grown to adopt a more online approach towards learning. 

UpGrad is one of the many edtech startups that have been able to capitalize on the current scenario of things. SoftBank and TigerGlobal backed Unacademy as it was valued at $3.44 billion after raising $440 Million. Vedantu, which has been backed by GGV Capital is also discussing terms and working on finalizing a new round that will put it ahead of all of its competitors crowning it the unicorn title and making it the most valuable of the list over Byjus which has raised over $1.5 Billion. 

Screwvala claims that the newly raised funds will be directed to explore mergers and acquisition opportunities for the startup. Screwvala was once known for pioneering the cable television business once upon a time for the South Asian market as he produced countless Bollywood movies. Screwvala in 2013, sold his media entertainment business UTV to Disney for $1.4 Billion