UpGrad acquihires Pyoopil to take a stab at $1bn corporate training market in India

17th Oct 2016
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Edutech platform UpGrad today announced that it acquihired mobile SaaS-based product Pyoopil. The platform is used by corporates to conduct online training programmes to be consumed by employees on the go. Pyoopil had also raised an undisclosed amount of funding from angel investors.

The Pyoopil team will be joining the UpGrad team, and will continue to work on building engaging, learning products for working professionals. Speaking of the acquihire, Harsh Tripathi, Co-founder and CEO of Pyoopil, adds that they have been in touch with UpGrad for a while and given their shared drive and values on how they were approaching online education, they decided it would be best to join hands and do this together.

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The core team @ UpGrad

The UpGrad team adds that this acquihire is in line with their plans to foray into the $1 billion corporate training market in the country.

Speaking of this acquihire, Mayank Kumar, Co-founder of UpGrad adds:

We have two rationales for us to look at any acquisition or acquihire opportunity. One is it gives me access to channel, to newer customers, or it gives me access to product feature. With Pyoopil, we got access to product feature, which would’ve taken us longer to build. The B2B learning needs are different from a B2C learning needs, so I cannot use the existing product for the same. And Pyoopil has done great work in building a strong product and feature set, which makes learning in the B2B space more engaging and interactive.

Founders Ronnie Screwvala and Mayank add that they see a strong demand from companies who are looking to train their employees at a large scale. The platform’s new programmes for corporate will focus on imparting skills around data, digital and innovation for workforce across corporates.

Started in July 2015 by Mayank and Ronnie Screwvala, UpGrad works along three broad components – learning specific aspects of different entrepreneurial concepts, experiencing these concepts by listening to industry experts talk about their challenges, and application of these concepts for real-life business needs.

The faculty members are from various different institutions: IIT, IIM, UC Berkley and Birla Institute. The experience of 30 entrepreneurs and 10 industry guest speakers is infused into the learning and concept introduction elements.

With this acquihire, UpGrad is eyeing a revenue of $100 million in the next five years, while continuing to grow and expand on their B2C business. A press release by the company stated that they expect to achieve a topline of $20 million from its B2C business in the next fiscal year.

UpGrad has already roped in companies like Mahindra, HCL, Tata to customise programmes for them in data analytics, digital marketing and product management. The team also has partnered with Uber, Cognizant, Google, Disney, Star TV, BookMyShow and Microsoft. They have contributed to programme content in the form of case studies.

“One of the biggest things about the Pyoopil team is that they are very passionate about solving the education problem. While together we might not be able to change the world, but we can definitely work towards finding a solution,” says Mayank.

A LinkedIn research paper suggests that 80 percent of engineering graduates are not only unemployed, but are unemployable according to corporates as they do not have the right skillset. Looking at this skill gap, there are several platforms like Coursera, edX, and Udacity in the online learning space.

There is also WAGmob, which focusses on sales force training. It was recently acquired by EduCastEx-Tiger Global employee has started GreatLearning, which focusses on skills training and follows a similar industry mentorship model. Then there is Simplilearn.

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