Edtech Unicorn upGrad acquires Test-Prep Startup Exampur


Edtech startup upGrad has acquired test prep startup Exampur in an undisclosed deal.

In its fourth acquisition this year, upGrad said it sees test prep as a high-potential growth driver, and the deal, which is a 100% merger deal, fits well with its education initiative.

Founded in 2015 by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, Ravijot Chugh and Phalgun Kompalli, upGrad offers higher education courses worldwide. The edtech startup, which joined the unicorn club in August last year, claims to have a user base of 3 million in more than 100 countries.

Gaurav Kumar, President – Corporate Development at upGrad said, “I realize that this segment (test preparation segment) comes with high customer acquisition cost (CAC) but also higher returns in terms of results.”

Kumar added, “That’s why we wanted a partner with the right set of DNA in this space, and Exampur fits seamlessly into our LifeLongLearning puzzle.”

Whereas Exampur, Co-founded in 2018 by Vivek Kumar and Vardan Gandhi is a Noida-based education platform that offers more than 200 preparation courses for various competitive exams to crack government jobs. He delivers most of his content through his YouTube channels.

According to upGrad, Exampur also offers online test series, free quizzes and live scholarship tests to help applicants assess their professional competencies and streamline the learning process.

Cumulatively, the startup said, Exampur’s current subscriber base is more than 12 million with an average audience of 2.5 million students. Almost 90% of Exampur’s paid users are from Tier-2, 3 and 4 markets. Exampur further stated that it is targeting INR 70 million ($7.5 million) in revenue in the current fiscal year.

Vivek and Vardan Co-founders of Exampur said, “We are delighted to have strong leadership support through upGrad, which has already built a business that is set to outlast its peers and accelerate our growth in times to come.”

Exampur is upGrad’s second acquisition in a similar category (another edtech platform), having raised $225 million in a new round of funding this June from Lupa Systems LLC and James Murdoch’s Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Previously, upGrad bought B2B ed-tech startup Harappa Education for $38 million (INR 300 crore) in July. Additionally, in July upGrad’s 100% subsidiary – Recruit acquired WOLVES India, a recruitment and staffing company.

Also earlier in May, it acquired the International School of Engineering (INSOFE) in a stock exchange for $33 million.

In FY21, upGrad posted a consolidated loss after tax of INR 211, a jump of 167.8% from INR 78.8 in FY20. Its total expenses in FY21 were INR 513.7, which is a 112.8% increase from INR 241.4 in FY20.

Meanwhile, several edtech startups including upGrad, BYJU’S and Unacademy have come under the government’s scanner as the Department of Consumer Affairs noted their alleged mis-selling of courses, according to a report last month.

At $2.8 billion in 2020, the size of the edtech market in India is estimated to grow 3.7x over the next five years to $10.4 billion in 2025, according to a report.

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