Ronnie Screwvala\'s upGrad acqui-hires online community platform CohortPlus
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Media entrepreneur and investor Ronnie Screwvala's ed-tech startup upGrad has acqui-hired CohortPlus, an online community for product managers and data science enthusiasts.

upGrad co-founders Screwvala and Mayank Kumar said in a statement that the combination of its online learning solution and CohortPlus’ access to the product manager and data scientist community would enable the firm to reach a wider audience.

The consumer insights garnered via CohortPlus will help upGrad improve its product offerings, it added.

Separately, Bengaluru-based CohortPlus’ founder and chief executive officer Srinivasan Narayan said the startup would enlist upGrad’s support in building a proprietary platform for people looking to advance their careers. 

Operated by Fairmont Technologies Pvt. Ltd. CohortPlus enables members to post questions and get various perspectives from industry professionals. They can also seek assistance for job interviews on the platform.

Founded in 2015, CohortPlus said that its community has more than 31,000 members from companies such as Google, Adobe, Facebook, Uber, Practo, Zomato and Amazon. 

CohortPlus had raised angel funding in 2015 from Manish Maheshwari (managing director, Twitter India), Alok Mittal (founder of fintech startup Indifi) and Sujatha Kumar (head of marketing, Visa).

upGrad, operated by U Education Management Pvt. Ltd, targets professionals with online courses in entrepreneurship, digital marketing, data analytics and product management.  Apart from Screwvala and Kumar, UpGrad's co-founders include Ravijot Chugh and Prabhav Phalgun.

Last year, upGrad had 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.

In January last year, VCCircle reported that upGrad was planning to raise $40 million (around Rs 266 crore then) in its first round of external funding. Till then, the company had been internally funded by Screwvala's proprietary arm Unilazer Ventures, which he set up in 2012 after selling UTV to Disney. Unilazer has so far backed at least 30 startups.

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