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The largest EdTech Unicorn from India, Network, has closed a massive financing deal in which it raised $34 million in debt funding from EvolutionX, one of the most popular investment firms supporting growth-stage businesses across Asia. The funding rounds to a strategic move by upGrad in expounding the offerings and building further on its position in the competitive EdTech space.

Co-founded by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, and Phalgun Kompalli in 2015, upGrad has been one of the largest online education players. The company offers higher education and upskilling programs with a focus on working professionals and students who seek to drive a better career trajectory. Of course, this $34 million infusion by EvolutionX also gears toward energizing the growth strategy at upGrad scaling the operation, developing new products, and probably exploring new markets.

That the company went in for debt funding and not equity funding, therefore, suggests upGrad wants to maintain control over the operations and avoid dilution of ownership. Such an approach makes sense only for firms which have a clear path to earnings and a robust revenue model—both things that upGrad claims it has already demonstrated.

The roots of EvolutionX run deep into major financial institutions and ensue from a long history of investment in high-growth technology companies across Asia. Their investment in upGrad enunciates faith in the EdTech space and more so in India, where demand for accessible and quality education and professional development is ever-growing. Their portfolio holds diversified tech businesses, and this would be seen as validation by them of the upGrad business model and its future prospects.

The EdTech market in India has grown exponentially, accelerated by the pandemic, which accelerated educational institutions and learners alike onto online platforms. upGrad has ridden this sea of change by partnering with many leading universities globally to offer a plethora of courses on its website. Courses spanned data science and technology, management, law—domains that meet diversified contemporary workforce needs.

Within a competitive set of players like Byju’s, Unacademy, and Vedantu, upGrad has been able to make space for itself through its quality content and strong industry partnerships, backed by a robust learning platform. This would underscore, at one level, the confidence of the investors in the growth potential and sustainability of the business model by their big-ticket funding into the company.

The funds it has raised will help build great tech infrastructure, expansion in courses, and optimization of customer acquisition strategies. It will also help upGrad go deeper with the existing student base by way of better support services and personalized learning experiences.

Moreover, upGrad has been toying with the idea of expanding into overseas markets. The funds from EvolutionX could be used to invest in strategic acquisitions and partnerships in countries outside India to attain a tap into the global demand for online education. This would align well with upGrad’s vision of becoming the global leader in EdTech.

The $34 million equity infusion in debt funding comes at a time when upGrad needs it the most: driving the ambition of scaling in a post-pandemic world of education. With an absolute focus on scaling its operations and strengthening its pedagogical framework, upGrad is very well-positioned to leverage such investment for long-term growth. This goes on to prove the moot potential of the company to make a lasting, positive impact on the global EdTech industry.

Through further innovation and expansion, upGrad features as a player that matters in the changed landscape of online education, not only in India but globally. This alliance with EvolutionX offers not just financial support but also strategic inputs that will help scale upGrad to newer heights in its quest to democratize education and professional development.