upGrad acquires corporate training provider Centum Learning
Edtech unicornhas acquired corporate training solutions provider Centum Learning in a share swap deal.
With this transaction, Bharti Enterprises (the parent company of Centum Learning) and its affiliates will be joining upGrad’s cap table.
Headquartered in Delhi, Centum was founded in 2007 and currently offers impact-based training to corporates as well as vocational and educational training to students in schools and colleges with an aim to make them either self-employed or meaningfully employed.
Over 3,000 learning and development (L&D) specialists have onboarded the platform. The startup has trained more than two million people, while also offering sessions to over 400 corporates across India and Africa.
In addition, Centum’s Africa operations boast a team size of more than 50 local L&D professionals who provide customised vernacular training, content, and a digital learning platform.
With a total strength of over 2,000 employees, Centum’s business will continue to operate independently under the leadership guidance of Managing Director and CEO Sanjay Bahl.
“Enterprise workforce upskilling is a supercritical need, however, the sector remains highly fragmented. upGrad has always seen enterprise upskilling as a strategic growth driver and we are making some nonlinear movements to reinvent B2B learning in India and create an integrated lifelong learning ecosystem for our stakeholders,” said Mayank Kumar, Co-founder, upGrad.
In August 2022, upGrad raised $210 million from ETS Global, Bodhi Tree, Singapore’s Kaizen Management Advisors, and the family offices of Bharti Airtel, Narotam Sekhsaria, and Lakshmi Mittal’s Artian Investments, along with existing investors Temasek, IFC, and IIFL.
In the same month, it also acquired Exampur, an online learning startup for competitive examinations, for an undisclosed amount in a cash-and-share swap deal.
While edtech startups enjoyed rapid growth and funding momentum since the start of the pandemic, the sector seems to have lost its mojo. Apart from funding challenges, it has also witnessed massive layoffs in the last few months across companies such as BYJU’S-owned WhiteHat Jr, Unacademy, Vedantu, and Lido Learning.
Last week, Ronnie Screwvala-backed edtech startup Lido Learning filed for insolvency and bankruptcy with the Mumbai bench of National Company Law Tribunal due to a cash crunch.