India’s UpGrad enters unicorn club with $185 million fundraise – TechCrunch

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UpGrad, a Bangalore-based startup that specializes in higher education and upskilling courses, said on Monday it has raised $185 million in a new financing round that valued it at $1.2 billion.

Singapore’s Temasek led the financing round while the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and IIFL participate. The first tranche of this unnamed round — about $120 million — was completed in April at over $600 million valuation.

“We are pleased with the investor interest ever since we opened up for fundraise, and had our maiden raise from Temasek, followed by IFC and IIFL in the last 60 days,” said Ronnie Screwvala, co-founder and chairperson of upGrad, in a statement.

Six-year-old UpGrad, which in recent months has pushed for expansion in international markets, offers students over 100 courses in data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, finance, programming, and law in collaboration with universities such as Michigan State University, the IIT Madras and IIT Delhi, and Swiss School of Business Management, Geneva.

co-founder and chairperson

UpGrad website

More than a million users from over four dozen nations have accessed the platform’s courses, the startup said. On its website, UpGrad says it has over 62,000 paid students.

Screwvala, who pioneered the cable television business in the South Asian market and also produced several Bollywood blockbusters, said on Monday that the startup will deploy the fresh funds to explore several merger and acquisition opportunities. Screwvala sold his entertainment conglomerate UTV to Disney at an enterprise valuation of $1.4 billion in 2013.

UpGrad is the 21st Indian startup to become a unicorn this year, up from 11 last year. In recent quarters, high-profile investors such as Tiger Global, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Falcon Edge, and Temasek have doubled down on their bets on India.

This is a developing story. More to follow…

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