Edtech startup Simplilearn has raised $45 million led by GSV Ventures. Clal Insurance, and DisruptAD, ADQ’s venture platform, are also participating in this round. This comes at a time when the startup ecosystem, especially within edtech, is witnessing volatility.
In August 2021, Blackstone acquired a majority (more than 60%) stake in the Bengaluru-based startup for $250 million. During the transaction, the company’s existing investors Kalaari Capital, Helion Ventures, and Mayfield took an exit.
The fresh funds will be utilised to boost its growth plans in India and international markets. As per media reports, the startup is expected to be valued at over $500 million.
Twelve-year-old Simplilearn is a digital upskilling platform that provides training in Cyber Security, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Digital Marketing, and Data Science, among others. The programs are co-created with leading universities like MIT and Caltech and leading industry partners like IBM, Microsoft Azure, Meta, Amazon, and KPMG.
The edtech company claims that it has seen significant growth in the past year and has added more than 1,20,000 paid B2C learners, and over 1,00,000 enterprise learners on its platform. This is in addition to the 2 million free learners that it adds to its SkillUp platform every year.
Simplilearn registered over 40% growth in scale to Rs 479.7 crore during FY22 as compared to Rs 341 crore in FY21. As per the annual financial statement with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), its losses shot up 26X to nearly Rs 150 crore in FY22 from Rs 5.65 crore in the preceding fiscal year.
Simplilearn, which is similar to US-based Lambda School, competes with Scaler by InterviewBit, Newton School, and Masai School. While the overall edtech space is struggling to raise money, except for a few, startups in the upskilling space have been able to rake in some funding in 2022. In February, Tiger Global-backed Scaler scooped up $55 million in its Series B round at a valuation of $710 million. Soon after that Newton School also bagged $25 million in a Series B round. Recently, Masai School scooped up $10 million in its Series B round led by Omidyar Network India.
Besides Simplilearn, GSV has backed several edtech startups including Classplus, physicsWallah, LEAD, Eruditus, Brightchamps, and Quizizz.