Simplilearn acquires US-based Fullstack Academy to fuel global expansion plans
Blackstone-backed edtech firmannounced that it has acquired a US-based bootcamp education company, Fullstack Academy, in an all-cash transaction. Simplilearn said that the acquisition will accelerate its growth in the US and its global expansion plans.
Fullstack, a national tech education provider based in New York City, was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zovio, an educational services company. The terms of the current transaction were not disclosed.
However, Zovio, in an SEC filing in September noted that it had received indications of interest from potential strategic and private equity buyers, and expected to receive between $34 million and $55 million from the sale of Fullstack.
The acquisition will give Simplilearn access to over 20 new university and government partnerships across the US.
Fullstack’s existing partnerships across 15 states will provide Simplilearn access to new university partnerships that will expedite its growth in the region, the edtech firm added.
Simplilearn stated that the transaction will also enhance its scale and presence in the bootcamp space and drive revenue growth to $200 million by FY24, of which 70% is likely to come from global markets.
Fullstack Academy’s offerings include bootcamp programmes in web development, cybersecurity, product management, devops, data analytics, and other disciplines.
“Bootcamps have been an extremely popular concept in the edtech industry, and there is no denying that learners are looking for the holistic learning experience that bootcamps offer. Through Fullstack Academy’s wide-spread footprint in the US and its strong partnerships with top universities, we are confident that this collaboration will enable us to accelerate our global expansion plans,” said Krishna Kumar, Founder, and CEO of Simplilearn.
“It is amazing to find a business whose vision is similar to ours and complements our pedagogy and belief system. We are certain we will be able to leverage each other's capabilities synergistically to build a strong company,” he added.
Fullstack Academy has over 300 employees spread across the US and is on track to deliver over $30 million in revenue this year, the company said.
Following the sale, all Fullstack Academy employees will remain in their roles as part of the combined organisation, bringing Simplilearn’s total employee count to over 2,500. It will continue to serve its students and partners as an independent business unit within Simplilearn.
Founded in 2010 and based in San Francisco, California, and Bangalore, India, Simplilearn offers access to work-ready training to individuals and businesses around the world. This will be the company’s second acquisition after Market Motive in 2015.
Simplilearn claims it has grown exponentially by over 60% in the past year and this complementary acquisition will accelerate its journey to become the largest digital skilling company globally.
The acquisition announcement comes a few days after the latest investment round in which the company raised $45 million in funding from a consortium led by GSV Ventures. The development also comes at a time when edtech unicorns are witnessing losses, laying off employees, slowing expansion plans, and trying to burn as little cash as possible amid a funding winter.
In July, NYSE-listed Blackstone announced that it acquired a majority stake in Simplilearn for $250 million. The deal provided the edtech startup's investors with an almost 7X return on their investments as they exited following the BlackStone deal.
Edited by Teja Lele