upGrad acquires Insofe: upGrad acquires top data science institute Insofe in $ 33 million share swap deal

Mumbai: Ed-tech platform upGrad has acquired the International School of Engineering (Insofe), one of the top data science institutes in India, in a $ 33 million share swap deal.

This is upGrad’s seventh acquisition in the last couple of years.

As part of the transaction, Insofe’s management and investors will take a little under 1% equity in upGrad at a valuation of $ 2 billion.

A leader in data sciences and artificial engineering courses, Insofe offers blended offline online courses with two big facilities in Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

“Insofe is based out of India but stands for global excellence in data science, machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI). The data and analytics courses do very well for upGrad. So, with this acquisition, we go into the next level of specialization, ”said Ronnie Screwvala, co-founder and chairman, upGrad.

To supplement organic growth, upGrad has also chosen to pursue acquisitions, carefully handpicking a bunch of companies like Talentedge, Impartus, Knowledgehut, Rekrut India, and Study Partners to help create a meaningful bouquet of courses that will cater to customers’ education needs throughout their life stages.

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“Upgrad will be a lifelong partner for anyone after K-12. Whether it is undergrad or postgrad, a diploma or a short course, a degree from a top global institute or a doctorate, we want to be the destination of choice. We believe people will be in and out of courses throughout their lives in the future, ”Screwvala said.

The acquisition will give upGrad an edge in AI and ML courses, which are becoming very popular in India due to the rising demand for talent with these skills from corporates and startups.

“Insofe’s depth in AI and ML coupled with upGrad’s partner and student base makes a powerful combination to assume a leadership position in AI education and research worldwide,” said Dakshinamurthy V Kolluru, co-founder and CEO, Insofe.

Upgrad is raising another round of funds to fuel its international foray and acquisitions.

“Yes, we are raising money, but it will take another 45-60 days,” Screwvala said.

The company is on the lookout for more quality companies and is in talks to pick up a PE firm’s stake in a leading online education company. Screwvala did not confirm the deal though.

“Acquisitions are not for bragging but finding that promoter who is at a good stage in life, has worked 5-7 years building an interesting business but won’t be able to take it to 4 or 5 or 10 X in the next two years , ”Said Screwvala.

Since its inception in 2015, upGrad has clocked top line growth of more than 100–120%, and the company expects to grow by 160–180% for the previous financial year (FY22) for which results have not been announced yet. This will largely be spurred by growth in its international markets and successful integration of acquired companies.

According to Screwvala, in FY22, upGrad’s revenue run rate is expected to come in at $ 250- $ 300 million and touch $ 500 million in FY23.

“There will be six or seven global big edtech companies in the world in the next five years, two of which will be out of India for sure. We are building for the long term and building to last. We are definitely in the ring for being one of them, ”they said.

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