Edtech unicorn upGrad has acquired online learning institution Harappa Education in a cash and stock deal worth Rs 300 crore.
Harappa’s shareholders Bodhi Tree Systems, an investment platform formed by James Murdoch's Lupa Systems and former Star & Disney India chairman Uday Shankar, and the start-up’s co-founders Pramath Raj Sinha and Shreyasi Singh, will join the upGrad Cap table, the company said in a statement.
Launched by Sinha, the Founding Dean of the Indian School of Business (ISB) and the Founder Trustee of Ashoka University, and Shreyasi Singh, ex-editor of India Inc, the New Delhi-based start-up offers self-paced courses and programs to help learners with must-have thrive skills, which are essential set of cognitive, social and behavioral skills. The company claims to have an active clientele of 100 mid and large-sized organisations.
“Similar to the integrated approach that we have been able to achieve in the B2C segment, we intend to offer a complete suite of products to our enterprise partners. A combination of upskilling courses along with these critical skills that Harappa has to offer would set us apart. We see strong demand from our clients and with Harappa coming in, we believe we'll be able to grow exponentially within the segment as we cross-leverage the synergies, Ronnie Screwvala & Mayank Kumar, Co-founders of upGrad, said.
This is the second acquisition for upGrad this month. Early this month, the company fully acquired Bengaluru-based WOLVES India, a recruitment and Staffing firm for an undisclosed amount. The deal was done through Rekrut, a 100 percent subsidiary of upGrad. The 7-year-old start-up specialises in placing tech talent across startups, along with mid and large-sized organisations in India and overseas.
The acquisition comes at a time when start-ups across the spectrum are going through a cost optimization phase to deal with the funding slowdown. Edtech start-ups, heavy on sales and marketing headcount, are among the first in the list of suddenly frugal firms. In February, Lido Learning asked around 1,200 of its employees to resign. Unacademy laid off 925 employees in April; Vedantu handed out pink slips to over 600 people in May, and FrontRow sacked 145, and Byju’s said it sacked approximately 500 people.
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