Edtech unicorn upGrad registered notable growth in scale as its revenue spiked 96% during the fiscal year ending March 2023, according to the official statement by the company. The sound cost mechanism helped upGrad to keep its bottom line flat in the last fiscal year.
Ronnie Screwvala’s upGrad which provides higher education, learning, skilling, and workforce development scaled to Rs 1,194 crore in FY23 from Rs 608 crore in FY22. Online programs offered to students and commissions from the universities are the primary source of revenue for upGrad.
As per firm, it has crossed a 10 million learner base while its paid learner base has grown 54% YoY. upGrad has serviced 1,110 enterprise clients and expects to retain 75% of them during the current fiscal year.
Heading towards expenses, employee benefits accounted for around 40% of the overall expenditure. This cost surged 79.4% to Rs 707 crore in FY23 from Rs 394 crore in FY22.
upGrad managed to control its advertising cum promotion cost which decreased 8.2% to Rs 371 crore in FY23. Its university fees spiked 69% to Rs 132 crore in FY23. Expenditure on content, IT, legal-professional fees, and other overheads pushed its total burn to Rs 1,752 crore in FY23.
Caveat: upGrad disclosed that the company incurred Rs 584 crore worth of non-cash in FY23 which includes goodwill write-off, depreciation, and finance costs. We have excluded the same while calculating losses.
The two-fold growth and sound cost mechanism helped upGrad to keep its bottom line flat to Rs 558 crore in FY23 where the figures stood at Rs 572 crore in FY22.
“Our gross margins are close to 80%; we have zero net debt; and have one of the best ROCE (Return on Capital Employed) ratios for a new-age company, having raised a tight $265 million since inception. We are tracking H2 of FY24 and onward to be operationally profitable on an ongoing basis and we will continue to look for organic, linear, and non-linear opportunities for growth both in Asia and around the world,” said Mayank Kumar co-founder and MD of upGrad in a statement.
The Mumbai-based company turned unicorn in August 2021. Since the entry in the unicorn club, the firm also took over a bunch of startups namely Talentedge, Global Study Partners, Centum Learning, Wolves India (acquihire) and Harappa Education.
Unlike other edtech firms upGrad did not see layoffs in FY23. However, its subsidiaries such as upGrad Campus (formerly Impartus) and Harappa collectively laid off around 180 employees in the last year.