upGrad acquires Corporate Training Startup Centum in its Latest M&A Deal

upGrad Founder Ronnie Screvwala

UpGrad, a unicorn edtech company, has exchanged shares to fully (100%) acquire Centum Learning, a provider of corporate training solutions.

Bharti Enterprises Ltd. and its affiliates will join upGrad’s cap table as part of the agreement. Additionally, Centum will continue to run independently under the direction of Sanjay Bahl, the company’s current CEO and managing director.

“Both upGrad and Centum are committed to driving outcomes for their learners and therefore, I am excited about combining the two synergies for creating a scalable portfolio for continued results,” Bahl said.

Centum, a company established in Delhi, provides modern learning solutions to organisations and educational institutions.

According to Centum, it offers corporate clients impact-based training. Additionally, it provides academic and vocational training to enable college graduates and students to become self-employed.

In the fiscal year 2023, Centum expects to generate an annualised revenue of about $21 million.

Furthermore, it claims to have impacted over 400 companies in both India and Africa and trained over 2 million employees.

According to the statement, Centum employs over 2000 people worldwide and has increased the size of its learning and development team in Africa to over 50 people.

“upGrad has always seen enterprise upskilling as a strategic growth driver and we are making some nonlinear movements to reinvent B2B learning in India and create an integrated lifelong learning ecosystem for our stakeholders,” said Mayank Kumar, cofounder of upGrad and Gaurav Kumar, president at Corporate Development, upGrad.

The 2015 established edtech unicorn upGrad provides working professionals and recent college grads with undergraduate, postgraduate, and upskilling courses. It claims to have 3 million or more learners in more than 100 countries. Additionally, it states that it has collaborated with more than 300 universities and 1,000 corporate organisations.

The most recent acquisition follows upGrad’s $210 Mn fundraising round in August of this year, which included participation from ETS Global, Bodhi Tree, and Kaizen Management Advisors, among others.

It acquired edtech firm Exampur earlier in August; this was the unicorn edtech company’s fifth acquisition. Before that, it acquired Talentedge, WOLVES India, Harappa Education, and the International School of Engineering (INSOFE).

UpGrad reported a consolidated loss of INR 211 Cr in the financial year 2021–22, an increase of 167.8% from INR 78.8 Cr in the prior year. While this was happening, its expenses increased from INR 241.4 Cr to INR 513.7 Cr, a 112.8% growth.

India’s edtech market is projected to increase by 3.7x to $10.4 Bn by 2025, according to a report.

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