Online higher education platform, upGrad has announced the acquisition of Centum Learning, a corporate training solutions provider in a share swap deal.
Though, the company did not disclose the value of the transaction for Centum, which is expected to clock revenue of Rs 170 crore ($ 21 million) in Financial Year 2022-23 (FY23).
As part of the deal, Bharti Enterprises Ltd and its affiliates will join upGrad’s cap table. Besides, Centum will also continue to operate independently under the leadership of its current CEO and managing director-Sanjay Bahl.
Founded in 2007 by Sanjay Bahl, Centum Learning offers impact-based training to corporates as well as vocational and educational training to schools and college learners to make them either self-employed or meaningfully employed. The startup’s expertise helps organizations drive employee productivity, develop a pipeline of future leaders, and craft customized learning journeys. The platform also involves integrating livelihood skilling and capability development into an organisation’s CSR strategy.
Speaking about the company, Founder of Centum Learning, Sanjay Bahl, said:
“At Centum, we have been focused on training, skilling and upskilling for the last over 16 years now. We have put in years of hard work building a bespoke training and content portfolio that makes new-age learning more immersive and outcome-oriented for both corporates and individuals. Both upGrad and Centum are committed to drive outcomes for their learners to create a scalable portfolio for continued results.”
With over 3,000 learning and development (L&D) specialists, the New-Delhi-based company claims to have trained more than 2 million people while also impacting over 400 corporations in India and Africa. It also claims to have a headcount of 2000+ and has expanded its learning and development team to over 50 employees in Africa.
Mayank Kumar, Co-founder & Manager, and Gaurav Kumar, President & Corporate Development of upGrad, said in a joint statement:
“Enterprise workforce upskilling is a supercritical need; however, the sector remains highly fragmented. upGrad has always seen enterprise upskilling as a strategic growth driver and we are making some nonlinear movements to reinvent B2B learning in India.”
Upgrad, co-founded in 2015 by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar and Phalgun Kompalli, offers undergraduate, postgraduate and upskilling courses to college graduates as well as working professionals. The company claims to have a learner base of 3Mn+ across 100+ nations. It further asserts to have partnered with more than 300 universities and 1000 business organisations.
With Centum’s acquisition, upGrad has made six acquisitions this year, taking its total tally to 11th so far. The latest acquisition comes after the company secured $210 million funding from ETS Global, Bodhi Tree and Kaizen Management Advisors, among others in August this year.
The Mumbai-based upGrad, which competes with Simplilearn, Unacademy, Byju’s and Amazon Academy, is in negotiations to acquire companies in the US and Southeast Asia for expansion, according to the sources.
Last month, upGrad acquired Exampur, one of India’s largest test-prep providers for government jobs. The deal was valued at about INR 125 crore. Prior to that, the firm acquired Harappa Education, Talentedge, WOLVES India and International School of Engineering (INSOFE).