UpGrad is an edtech startup that began in the country of India as a small startup. It has since grown and expanded into a large and successful company that is a leader in its niche of the educational technology industry. This company has a rich and storied history. It not only filled the needs for training and education for locals, but it also became profitable from its first year of operation. If you're not yet familiar with the company, here are twenty things you probably didn't know about UpGrad that we found interesting.
1. UpGrad is a versatile training company
According to Crunchbase, UpGrad is a startup that is listed across three industry categories. It is an education company because it provides information that accelerates the learning process for students. It operates on an E-learning platform that is both online and convenient for learners. It is also classified as an EdTech program b because it relies on various technologies to facilitate the learning process for its students. Finally, this versatile training company offers education for students as well as for professionals working for enterprise companies.
2. UpGrad is a young company
UpGrad is still considered to be a fairly young company. It was founded in 2015 and has only been in active operation for its sixth year. It is a sub-organization of UEducation Online Programs for New Age Competencies, with its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. The legal name is UpGrad Education Private Limited.
3. UpGrad has four co-founders
The co-founders of UpGrad are Mayank Kumar, Phalgun Kompalli, Ravjot Chugh, and Ronnie Screwvala. Three of the co-founders are partners on UEducation along with UpGrad. Each member of the founding team of UpGrad has an impressive professional history in business and education.
4. Mayank Kumar is a serial entrepreneur
Mayank Kumar has founded three organizations. He brings a wealth of experience to the leadership of UpGrad while working two jobs simultaneously. He is co-founder and managing director at UpGrad, also serving as the co-founder and managing director at UEducation at the same time. He also co-founded a third company called Nearity. He served as founder and director of the startup. He currently maintains one portfolio company as an angel investor.
5. Phalgum Kopalli is a graduate of IIT Delhi
Mr. Kopalli is co-founder and head of operations at UpGrad. He is also co-founder and head-services at UEducation, and has founded two organizations. He attended the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi where he earned his degree.
6. Ravijot Chugh is also a serial entrepreneur
Mr. Chugh also attended the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, where he earned his degree. Like his partners, he serves as co-founder of both UpGrad and UEducation. He works as head of Product for both organizations at the same time. He is also a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded two organizations.
7. Ronnie Screwvala is a serial entrepreneur
The fourth member of the team of co-founders of UpGrad is Ronnie Screwvala. He has founded two organizations including UpGrad and Unilazer Ventures. He is the sole member of the team that was not a partner in founding UEducation. He is an angel investor with eight portfolio companies. He is also a prolific investor. He made a partner investment in a company called Yumi in December of 2015. He has made nine individual investments in a variety of different startups. They include Kings Learning, in August of 2021, in a Seed round, True Fan in August of 2020, in a Seed round investing $4.3 million. He invested $3 million as a lead investor for LIDO in a Series A round. In January of 2016, he invested an undisclosed among in a venture capital funding round for DogSpot. He invested $620k in a Seed Round for Oximity which was acquired by Scribd, in March of 2014. He also invested in Premier India Football Academy as a lead investor in a private equity round. He made a previous investment of $600k in Oximity in 2013, $6 million as lead investor in a Series B round for Zivame.com. In 2012, he invested an undisclosed amount in a round of Series A funding for Inl Farms.
8. UpGrad has an eight-member executive leadership team
The executive leadership team for UpGrad is comprised of eight members. Ronnie Scrwvala is a co-founder. Saranjit Sanger is the chief executive officer of EMEA. Ravijot Chugh is a co-founder, Product. Arjun Mohan is a chief executive officer for India. Mayank Kuma is a co-founder and managing director. Phalgun Kompalli is a co-founder and operations. Himanshu Batra is a director of college business. Gaurav Daga is a senior program manager. Although the core leadership team is small in its numbers, they are a dynamic group of efficient professionals with years of cumulative experience.
9. UpGrad's downloads are growing
The number of downloads for the UpGrad educational resources has increased by 11.1 percent over the past thirty days. The analytics for the site show that over the last month, there were 56,809 downloads made of UpGrad's online Learning Course apps. The two most popular are Startup India Learning Program and UpGrad Online Learning Courses. The most popular is the latter. These are mobile apps that are most commonly downloaded via iTunes Connect and Google Play.
10. UpGrad uses a complex array of technologies
The UpGrad website is powered by a complicated arrangement of technologies. In all, the website actively uses a massive 111 technologies. While there is a lot for the IT team to keep running, the site provides a smooth and seamless experience for visitors and users. The technologies are distributed across 48 technology products and services. Some of these include jQuery, Google Analytics, HTML5, SSL by Default, iPhone Mobile Compatible, Viewport Meta, and dozens of others.
11. UpGrad has a high IT overhead
Although UpGrad has not disclosed the total annual cost of its IT budget, we know from experience that running such a high volume of technology products and services is an expensive endeavor. Likely, the annual cost for maintaining these programs is well more than $1 million.
12. UpGrad maintains its uniqueness against competitors
There are hundreds of educational programs offered online these days. With the Covid-19 pandemic, many new e-learning companies have sprung up. UpGrad maintains a strong edge over its competition. The startup has secured the registration of two trademarks in the education and entertainment classifications. What this means is that UpGrad's competitors can not legally use the materials that are under the trademarks, nor can they copy or imitate them. This allows UpGrad to function in a unique way that makes them stand out from all of the other training and education providers.
13. UpGrad's web traffic is increasing
There is an increase in the number of monthly visits that UpGrad receives to its website over the past 30 days. The analytics for the website shows a 14.01 percent monthly visits growth rate. Over the past 30 days, UpGrad has received an astronomical 4,329,236 visitors. This number has earned it a ranking of number 12,647 out of the millions of websites that are registered on the world wide web. This is an impressive figure for any website. The ranking makes it one of the most visited websites in the world today.
14. UpGrad is the most popular in India
Website analytics shows that the majority of web traffic for the UpGrad website comes from people who live in the country of India. Eighty-four percent of the visitors are from this country with a 13.04 percent monthly visits growth. Five percent come from the United States with a 34.34 percent monthly visits growth. One percent comes from Australia with a monthly visit growth of over 18 percent. One percent of the web traffic comes from Germany with a nearly 18 percent growth rate and one percent for the United Kingdom with a 3.9 percent monthly growth rate.
15. UpGrad is a unicorn startup
According to TechCrunch, UpGrad has achieved unicorn status. Remarkably, the company has grown so large in just six years. The edtech company now joins an exclusive group of elite companies that have a valuation of at least $1 billion. UpGrad's post fundraising valuation is set at $1.2 billion which exceeds the required amount for unicorn status. The most recent round of fundraising brought in an additional $185 million from its investors. The round recently closed in August of 2021, led by Temasek and other investors.
16. UpGrad has secured high investor confidence
So far, UpGrad has raised $361.3 million over a series of five rounds of fundraising. It has secured the backing of five major investors who have the confidence that the startup will provide them with a healthy return on their investments. Other investors joining Temasek Holdings include International Finance Corporation, IIFL Asset Management, and Unalizer Ventures. At a time when many new companies are failing, UpGrad is flourishing. It is helped by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that has made it necessary for many learners to move their studies to an online or e-learning environment. The influx of online learners has created a huge demand for the products and services that UpGrad offers. However, even before the onset of the pandemic, the startup was advancing at an impressive pace.
17. UpGrad is a privately held business
The four co-founders of UpGrad have kept the company as a privately owned enterprise. The research that we conducted has not shown any evidence that it plans to change its status. UpGrad receives ample financial support from its investors and it is thriving without the need to offer shares of its stock on a public exchange. It is privately backed, and for now, at least, you won't' be able to find shares of the company for sale or trade within the public arena.
18. UpGrad acquired KnowledgeHut
The most recent acquisition made by UpGrad is a company called KnowlegeHut. This is a startup that is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, in the United States. It is a global ed-tech startup that helps professionals and organizations develop the appropriate skills through online training courses. The acquisition was announced on August 3, 2021, and the process has already been completed. KnowlegeHut will continue to function under its original mission as a subsidiary of UpGrad. The terms of the acquisition agreement have not yet been disclosed, nor has the purchase price for the transaction.
19. UpGrad has made seven acquisitions
In addition to acquiring KnowledgeHut, UpGrad has made six other acquisitions. It acquired Impartus Innovations, a Bengaluru, India technology solutions company in the ed-tech sector on May 24, 2021, for ₹1.5 billion. The startup had raised a total of $4.1 million before the acquisition. UpGrad acquired Rekrut India in December of 2020. This is a recruitment and staffing solutions company that will provide necessary operations for the parent company. The business is located in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. In November of 2020, UpGrad acquired The Gate Academy of Bangalore, Karnataka, India. This company provides rigorous and comprehensive coaching for GATE exams In July of 2020, UpGrad acquired a company called CohortPlus. This is a Bangalore, India-based startup that provides an online community for data science fans and product managers. In October of 2018, UpGrad acquired AcadView. The company provides an online job skilling platform that is geared toward undergraduate college students. It's headquartered in New Delhi, India. UpGrad made its first acquisition in October of 2016. It purchases a company called Pyoopil Education Technologies Pvt Ltd. This is a New Delhi-based mobile SaaS product for corporate use to deploy online training programs.
20. UpGrad is hiring
According to LinkedIn, UpGrad has listed six position openings with its company. There are not a lot of jobs currently open, but there are a few. One is for a worker in San Francisco, California, and the other five listings are for jobs at various locations in India.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee