Simplilearn buys US-based digital marketing training firm Market Motive for $10M

By Adith Charlie

  • 25 Jun 2015

Bangalore-based Simplilearn Solutions Pvt Ltd, the company behind online education and training destination for professional certification courses, has acquired Silicon Valley-based digital marketing training firm Market Motive for $10 million (Rs 62 crore).

The deal augments Simplilearn's offerings in the booming digital marketing field with courses in social media marketing, digital advertising, web analytics and marketing automation, as per a press statement. It will also help the company make further inroads in the US market.

Simplilearn said it expects global digital advertising spend to reach $278 billion by 2019 and this would expand the market opportunities.

“The digital marketing ecosystem is at the tipping point and this is the right time for us to expand our products in this hot segment. We are impressed with Market Motive’s enriched content and domain expertise backed by industry experts apart from their approach towards online training, which fits strongly with our business strategy,” said Krishna Kumar, founder and CEO of Simplilearn.

Market Motive will continue to operate as an independent arm of Simplilearn with co-founder Michael Stebbins staying on as CEO along with his entire team. Stebbins will also join Simplilearn as the chief innovation officer and work alongside the company’s director of US operations Prashant Parmar in strengthening Simplilearn’s presence further in North America.

Based in Silicon Valley, Market Motive was co-founded in 2007 by Michael Stebbins, John Marshall and Avinash Kaushik, who is Google's digital marketing evangelist. It builds curriculum that trains professionals on digital marketing and has delivered web-based certification programs to Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, Home Depot, Dell, Ogilvy, Federal Express and JPMorgan Chase.

Market Motive has also worked with education institutes like Duke University, Benedictine University and Concordia University. It specialises in SEO, web analytics, social media marketing, conversion optimisation, mobile marketing, PPC advertising and content marketing, the statement said.

Simplilearn is an online learning destination for young working professionals, who are looking at career enhancement through certification courses across industry verticals.

With study centres across the globe, Simplilearn offers certification courses in project management, Big Data and analytics, virtualisation and cloud, IT service management, Microsoft certification, quality management, and financial management, among others.

In April, Simplilearn had secured $15 million (Rs 92 crore) in Series C funding led by early-stage investor Mayfield, with participation from existing investors Kalaari Capital and Helion Venture Partners. Earlier, Simplilearn had secured around $10 million in a Series B round of funding in September 2013 from Helion Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital. In August 2012, it had bagged around $2 million in Series A funding from Kalaari Capital (erstwhile IndoUS Venture Partners).

“Digital Marketing is a key growth strategy for most organisations today and is driving the demand for certified professionals across the industry. Short term online courses that position the participant as an expert are the future of professional education,” says Navin Chaddha, managing director of Mayfield.

“Market Motive adds a fast-growing online marketing training vertical to Simplilearn..,” he added.

Simplilearn was founded by Krishna Kumar, a BE in electronics and communication from the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka. Prior to setting up this venture, Kumar had worked with Infosys and TechUnified.

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