Edtech firm upGrad secures debt funding from IIFL fund
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Edtech firm upGrad Education Pvt Ltd, which offers online learning programmes for working professionals, has raised Rs 50 crore ($6.7 million) in debt financing, according to a report.

Mumbai-based upGrad has raised this capital from IIFL Income Opportunities Fund, Inc42 reported, citing regulatory filings. The fund – owned and managed by IIFL Asset Management Ltd – makes investments in debt-related asset classes.

Per the report, the company has allotted five lakh redeemable non-convertible debentures to IIFL Income Opportunities Fund – Series 2, at a face value of Rs 1,000 per NCD.

Interestingly, it comes around four months after upGrad said that it was looking to make up to three acquisitions in the current financial year. The company said it had set aside Rs 50 crore – the same amount it has raised from the IIFL Fund – for these acquisitions.

VCCircle has reached out to upGrad on the details of this debt fundraise and whether the capital will be used for acquisitions.

upGrad isn’t new to making M&A moves to augment its capabilities. In July last year it had acqui-hired CohortPlus, an online community for product managers and data science enthusiasts. 

At the time, upGrad co-founder and executive chairman Ronnie Screwvala and co-founder Mayank Kumar said the move would help the company in reaching a wider audience base.

Prior to that, the company in 2018 acquired Acadview Software Pvt. Ltd, an online job skilling platform for undergraduates. In 2016, the company had acqui-hired learning platform Pyoopil Education Technologies Pvt. Ltd, marking its entry into the corporate training segment.

The company was set up in 2015 by Screwvala, Kumar, Phalgun Kompalli and Ravijot Chugh. It targets professionals with online courses in areas such as entrepreneurship, digital marketing, data analytics and product management.

This fundraising comes even as the larger ed-tech space moves into a consolidation phase, giving early-stage investors high returns in some cases.

Last week, VCCircle reported on how Nexus Venture Partners and Omidyar Network scored stellar returns on their investments in WhiteHat Jr following its acquisition by edtech firm Byju’s for $300 million (around Rs 2,247 crore). For Byju’s, the deal is at least its sixth acquisition as it continues to snap up smaller companies to grow its business.


Facebook-backed Unacademy is another firm in the space making acquisitions. Last month, it struck its third reported acquisition of the year by picking up a majority stake in the K-12 learning-focussed platform Mastree.

Prior to Mastree, it announced the acquisition of medical-education platform PrepLadder Pvt. Ltd for $50 million. Before that, it had acquired Delhi-based online exam preparation startup Kreatryx in March.

Also Listen: upGrad’s Ronnie Screwvala on acquisition plans and the state of ed-tech

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