upGrad to acquire Talentedge for ₹350-400 crore
upGrad, led by Ronnie Screwvala, will acquire Gurugram-based edtech platform Talentedge to strengthen its position in the higher education space. The deal’s value was not disclosed by the company. According to sources, the acquisition will cost between ₹350 crore and ₹400 crore.
upGrad is a leading online higher education provider, offering programmes in Data Science, Technology, Management, and Law to students, working professionals, and businesses. upGrad has grown exponentially in the last year as a result of inorganic acquisitions, including The GATE Academy (November, 2020), Rekrut India (December, 2020), KnowledgeHut (August, 2021), Impartus (May, 2021), and Global Study Partners (GSP), Australia’s largest study abroad company (November, 2021). With a $185 million funding round in August, upGrad recently became a unicorn, with a valuation of $1.2 billion.
upGrad, the online higher education company co-owned by Ronnie Screwvala, is set to acquire Talentedge, India’s fourth largest online higher education company, for around Rs 350-400 crore.
upGrad has entered into an exclusive agreement to acquire Arrina Education Services, the holding company of Talentedge Education Ventures, in what will be one of the larger consolidations in the Indian higher education space.
“We are leaders by far in the higher education space in India,” Screwvala, chairperson of upGrad, told ET. “Currently, we are twice as much as the next player, but we want to grow the gap to 4X before we branch out.”
“Talentedge has meticulously built a strong business over the last decade and stayed the course in this space where most did not survive, and we are very pleased to welcome them at upGrad as we build one of the largest edtech companies in the world,” Screwvala said.
While he refused to disclose the acquisition cost of Talentedge, he added that the company will do Rs 130 crore of revenue this financial year, and double that in the next year. But people in the know put the transaction val ..
Talentedge chief executive Aditya Malik said: “Talentedge will continue to work as is with its university and institute partners to deliver the quality education to its learners across degree and certification programmes.”
It has grown exponentially on the back of inorganic expansions in the last one year, having acquired The GATE Academy (November, 2020), Rekrut India (December, 2020), KnowledgeHut (August, 2021), Impartus (May, 2021), and Global Study Partners (GSP), the largest s ..
Talentedge is slated to do revenue of over Rs 130 crore this year and double its revenue in the coming year. Sources say the deal value is at 3-4X this year’s revenue.
This acquisition marks the first step in the massive consolidation that is currently occurring through big-ticket acquisitions led by upGrad. Which is currently the number 1 player in this space, is acquiring Talentedge, which is currently the number 4 player in the sector.
“upGrad has cemented its leadership position as the most integrated player in higher education in Asia, serving learners and working professionals across the age group of 18-50 years,” said Ronnie Screwvala, chairperson and co-founder, upGrad. “Talentedge has meticulously built a strong business over the last decade and stayed the course in this space where most did not survive and we are very pleased to welcome them at upGrad as we build one of the largest EdTech companies in the world.”
Gurgaon-based Talentedge offers more than 60 courses in partnership with 20+ universities. Talentedge partners with top Indian & International institutes including IIMs, XLRI, MICA, eCornell, UCLA extension among others, and has more than 5,00,000 individual and corporate learners.
“Coming together with upGrad enables us to access their best-in-class products and solutions, technology, and their data-driven pedagogical approach. It’s a win-win for learners and employers as a consolidated positioning enables us to serve them better,” said Aditya Malik, CEO & MD, Talentedge. “Talentedge will continue to work as is with its University & Institute partners to deliver the quality education to its learners across Degree & Certification programs.”
Gaurav Kumar, president, corporate development and M&A, upGrad said, upGrad’s M&A strategy is to identify companies who share the vision to build a world-class learning organization at scale. “We find the Talentedge team as perfect partners,” said Kumar. “We are in the active stage of closing a few more large acquisitions in India as well internationally which will be announced in the next one to two quarters.”
This is important, as upGrad’s M&A strategy is helping it in its vision of becoming an integrated edtech firm. The firm has initiated a merger of its entities, to create one main company in India, to drive its vision for an integrated strategy. Upon the consolidation of the subsidiaries, upGrad will become an integrated higher edtech global player, offering short-form courses, campus programmes and government test preparation courses.
In August this year, upGrad acquired edtech firm KnowledgeHut, which is aimed at equipping the global workforce with the skills of the future through outcome-based immersive learning. With this acquisition, upGrad has ventured into the short duration upskilling and reskilling segment which has a market potential of over $ 58 billion.