Upgrad doubles student base to over 1M since April, eyes Rs 1,200 Cr revenue in FY21

Edtech startup Upgrad's revenue run rate has been doubling quarter on quarter, and it is on course to close the current year with over Rs 1,200 crore revenue.

The pandemic that has ravaged most of the economy, including regular education, has turned out to be a huge blessing for edtech platform upGrad, as its customer base has more than doubled to 1 million since the lockdown.

Between its incorporation in 2015 and March 2020, around 5 lakh professionals took learning and upskilling programmes on Upgrad's platform.

However, the number of students have been increasing since April, with Upgrad crossing the one million students mark by December, Co-founder and Managing Director Mayank Kumar said.

The company's revenue run rate has been doubling quarter on quarter, and is on course to close the current year with over Rs 1,200 crore revenue, Kumar said.

The company's revenue stood at Rs 230 crore in FY20.

The company has set a revenue target of Rs 300 crore for the January-March quarter, so that it can close the year with Rs 1,200 crore revenue, Kumar said.

When asked about profitability, he said January-March quarter should be profitable, but not the fiscal year as the company is still in investment phase.

"So far, we founders (Ronnie Screwvala, Ravijot Chugh, Phalgun Kompalli and Mayank Kumar) have invested over Rs 170 crore, most of which has come from Screwvala," Kumar said.

Phalgun, Ronnie & Mayank of upGrad

The online higher education platform provides rigorous upskilling/reskilling programmes in collaboration with world-class faculty and industry. It offers certificates in association with leading universities.

On the benefits of upskilling, Kumar said students who pass out from Upgrad have been getting 46 percent to 55 percent pay hikes, and blue-chip companies have been hiring them. Some have even landed new jobs with double the salaries.

Kumar said since April, over 450 companies have hired around 1,200 Upgrad graduates with an average increment of 46-55 percent. Hiring has jumped two times since Diwali.

The lockdown has seen demand for upskilling rising manifold for three areas -- data with focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence, management with marketing, public relations and journalism, and technology with focus on cloud and Internet of things, among others.

He said almost 50 percent transition is happening is data sciences, followed by digital marketing, for which Upgrad has partnered with leading institute MICA and constitutes around 20 percent of the hiring curve.

Some of the leading varsities Upgrad has tied up with include IIT Madras and IIIT Bengaluru, he said.

Since the lockdown, the edtech major has onboarded over 100 colleges and universities on to the platform.

Asked if the company is looking for external capital, Kumar said as the revenue run rate is good, Upgrad doesn't need need capital now.

Though the company has been getting interest from investors, it hasn't closed any conversation yet on funding, he added.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai