The learning it delivers is at the center of business. The upGrad team is continually constantly striving to improve and takes great pleasure in everything it does.
Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, Phalgun Kompalli, and Ravijot Chugh founded upGrad in 2015. UpGrad Education Pvt. Ltd. is a digital higher learning organisation that empowers students, first-time job seekers, and working professionals to attain their fullest development by developing curriculum in data, technology, and management. These programs have been created in partnership with prestigious institutions such as IIIT-B, BITS Pilani, MICA, Cambridge Judge Business School, and others.
“We, at upGrad, had always believed in the potential of online education being able to transform careers. Hence, the development and adherence to the company’s vision statement since its inception in 2015 – ‘Building careers of tomorrow’,” said Ronnie Screwvala, upGrad founder.
Origin of UpGrad
Mayank has extensive expertise in the education sector, both as a consultant and an investor. He saw the advantages of low development costs and a huge student pool in lowering the cost of obtaining education through the internet. As a result of these characteristics, online courses are 53 percent less expensive than their offline counterparts. Online education is a handy way of learning due to the flexibility of time, schedule, and other factors. As a result, a slew of online education businesses have sprung up to meet the demand for online courses.
How UpGrad operates?
“We first built a content team which has now grown by 5 folds. They created subject matter from scratch, collecting and collating industry trends and university curriculum. We quickly developed a tech team that focuses purely on the smooth functioning of our online platform. Since then we have always focused on building a great online learning experience by collaborating with the right universities like BITS Pilani, IIIT-Bangalore, Cambridge Judge Business School of Executive Education, etc. We also have collaborations with some of the industry’s best such as Google, Flipkart, Gramener to name a few in order to create a cohesive and practical learning experience,” says upGrad owner Mayank Kumar, explaining the inception phase of the company.
Upgrad financial model
upGrad is mostly a pure B2C company, in which the customer engages in the programme (after being accepted) and pays for it up front. Firms pay the company for educating their personnel as part of its enterprise business. The programme pricing at upGrad reflects the company’s commitment to placing students. Only 50% of the programme fees are recovered from the learner if they are recruited after completing the programme. This is India’s first pricing plan ever to have been.
UpGrad’s funding and investors
UpGrad Raised INR 50 Crores ($6.8 Million) Debt From IIFL Income Opportunities Fund in August 2020. (owned by IIFL Asset Management Limited, an India-focused global asset management firm). In 2021, it wants to buy edtech companies. In its first external fundraising round, upGrad received $40 million from the World Bank’s IFC and $120 million from Temasek. UpGrad has a market capitalization of $850 million dollars.
Growth of UpGrad
On August 9, 2021, upGrad achieved unicorn status by raising roughly $185 million in a round headed by Temasek, IIFL, and IFC at a valuation of $1.2 billion. “Yes, the last value was at USD 1.2 billion,” Ronnie Screwvala, Chairperson and Co-Founder of upGrad, acknowledged the report, adding, “but as I keep saying, we are not a fan of the tag name unicorn – for us, it is only a means to a much larger goal.“
Future of UpGrad
UpGrad aspires to train and develop the careers of over 1 million learners over the next five years, with its impact expected to reach at least 5 million working professionals in a cascade effect. In the long run, this increasing ecosystem will help it establish itself as India’s leading online higher education corporation with a strong focus on employment.
“Distance learning has been the precursor to upGrad, while augmented learning will be the successor. As a virtual university, we want both students and educators to benefit from embracing new technologies for higher education. Universities on the other side of the globe have been quick to adopt new-age technologies. It’s time our country picked up the pace, as upGrad’s online power learning experience is as good as offline, if not better.” – Mayank Kumar.