During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, upGrad had doubled its learner base to 1 million in 10 months (by January 2021) and had set a target of crossing the 2-million mark in 18 months since then. But it achieved the same in just eight months. “Fifteen months down the line, owing to exponential growth, the brand currently has 7.7 million registered learners on its platform,” an upGrad spokesperson told FE.
In calendar year 2022, the top courses that were in demand at upGrad were:
- Global MBA with Liverpool
- Executive PG Programme in Data Science with IIIT Bangalore,
- Executive Doctor of Business Administration with Swiss School of Business and Management, Geneva,
- Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication with MICA Ahmedabad,
- Master of Science in Data Science with Liverpool John Moores University.
The edtech major has also been on an M&A spree, and in 2022 it acquired Centum Learning, Harappa Education, Wolves India, INSOFE and Work Better. In 2021, it had acquired Talentedge, GSP, KnowledgeHut and Campus, and in 2020 it had acquired Rekrut.
The spokesperson added that upGrad has become the only integrated lifelong learning platform that helps people across age groups (18-60 years) to move up in their career at different stages of their journey—college students and as well as working professionals.
It recently launched the overseas studies arm called upGrad Abroad, which offers 50-plus programmes in the areas of technology and management, and is set to record 13,000 enrolments by March 2023. The edtech major also strengthened footprint in the US by partnering with San Francisco’s GGU (one of the oldest private universities).
The spokesperson said that career outcome is one of the biggest differentiators for upGrad, as 83% of upGrad learners achieve the desired career outcomes.
The year 2022 was infamous for edtech layoffs, but upGrad kept up hiring and continues to be on an expansion spree. It raised external funds of $210 million from marquee investors, has team strength of more than 7,500 people, and plans to hire another 500 team members by March 2023. This year, over 15 co-founders from its M&As joined the leadership team.
The spokesperson said that by the end of the current fiscal year (March 2023), upGrad should have an annual gross revenue run rate (ARR) of $400 million, as the January-March quarter will have generated $100 million in gross collected revenues by that time.
Lastly, upGrad took a step in offline higher education with the launch of a new brand called UGDX (short for upGrad’s thrust in emerging digital technologies). “The X factor to UGDX is added by the recently acquired data science, AI, ML-focused offline institute, INSOFE,” the spokesperson said. “With an investment of $30 million, UGDX will open 10 institutes next year, of which three will be in the US (the San Francisco unit will go live in January 2023), five in India (in Delhi and Chennai, to add to the existing units in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, and one in Singapore and the Middle East, each.”