upGrad to invest ₹150 cr in online higher education business


BENGALURU: Edtech startup, upGrad, plans to invest 150 crore into its online higher education business following its two new partnerships with Jamia Hamdard University (JMU) and OP Jindal Global University to offer new courses.

upGrad’s partnership with JMU also marks its entry into the Bachelor’s degree segment. The edtech firm will now offer BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) and BCA (Bachelor of Computer Application) degrees to outgoing high-school graduates.

The edtech startup also launched two new master’s program in partnership with OP Jindal Global University. This includes a one-year LLM in corporate and financial law, and a two-year MBA degree in digital finance and banking.

Founded in early 2015, upGrad offers online programs for working professionals and has on-boarded over 21,500 paid learners on its platform. The startup has been stepping up investments into its higher education business as more students choose digital platforms to up-skill. Last month the startup earmarked 50 crore to make fresh acquisitions in the segments of online degrees, post-graduation and higher education space at large.

upGrad, at present is largely focussed on online up-skilling programs around technology, data science, and management. It also plans to add a new line of online programs around finance, law, and medicine, through new acquisitions.

In July last year, upGrad acquired Bengaluru-based CohortPlus, a community-based platform which was focused at Product Management and Data Science, for an undisclosed amount.

Before that in 2018, the edtech venture acquired skilling platform Acadview Software Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed sum, and acqui-hired mobile based SaaS (Software-as-a-service) product Pyoopil Education Technologies Pvt Ltd. in 2016.

“The ongoing global crisis calls for evolution on a recurring basis, especially amid the online education space which seems to be the only way forward, owing to its robustness and accessibility. Our degree portfolio will enable learners to continue with their academia, without having to think about the overall crisis that has taken a sharp toll on the offline education system,” said Ronnie Screwvala, executive chairman, and Co-Founder, upGrad.

The startup will also offer paid programs and free certification courses to existing college students. For offline colleges and universities, upGrad is also providing access to its upGrad LIVE platform that offers an online learning management system (LMS) so they can seamlessly migrate to online at zero cost. More than 50 institutes have already enrolled for the programme.

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