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Bengaluru, NFAPost: upGrad, India’s largest online higher education company, announces its entry into the test preparation market with the 100% acquisition of The Gate Academy (TGA) for an undisclosed amount.

Bengaluru based TGA is one of India’s premier coaching institutes with 57 centers across India and 76 million video hours consumed by its almost 2 lakh enrolled learners for GATE and other entrance tests for various Public/Government Sector jobs.

This move marks the aggressive entry of the higher edtech leader upGrad into the overall Test Prep market. Data shows that just the Government Exam Prep market sees around 40 Million applicants every year spending in a range of INR 10,000, thus opening up a new INR 400 Billion market for the company.

Announcing the acquisition, upGrad Co-founders Ronnie Screwvala and Mayank Kumar said in a joint statement that they are thrilled to onboard Ritesh & the team.

Growth opportunity

“TGA provides upGrad a non-linear growth opportunity in new-segment entry and deeper penetration in the semi-urban & rural markets, which is in line with our core vision of making Bharat employable by adopting the mantra of LifeLong Learning. With every strategic move, we are ensuring that upGrad leads from the front as India emerges as the teaching capital of the world,” said upGrad Co-founders Ronnie Screwvala and Mayank Kumar.

Post the acquisition, TGA will operate as a subsidiary of upGrad and will continue with its brand name. Ritesh Raushan will pursue as the CEO of the entity to build this business line, with all the support from upGrad, who will be providing its proprietary online learning solution and tools for enhancing the learning experience, as well as its sales, marketing, and content prowess.

The edtech leader also plans to invest over INR 100 crore into this test preparation subsidiary and will be developing over 20,000 hours of content in multiple languages to provide access to at least one million test-takers annually.

In his new role, The Gate Academy Founder & CEO Ritesh Raushan said TGA is very excited to join hands with upGrad team.

Online mode

“We aim to employ our extensive experience in both physical and online modes of teaching to create a world-class product that will bring fundamental changes in the way technology enables learning in the future,” said The Gate Academy Founder & CEO Ritesh Raushan.

upGrad President – Corporate Development Gaurav Kumar who spearheaded this acquisition said this is another step by upGrad in successfully accelerating its strategy for exponential growth and enhancing its product portfolio through acquisition.

“The acquisition also sets in upGrad’s plans for building a comprehensive post-K-12 ecosystem in motion. Bringing in TGA opens up a much larger addressable market that acutely needs quality online training and counselling. We are excited at the prospect of assisting youth from “Bharat” achieve their job aspirations,” said Gaurav Kumar.

Concluding on the acquisition announcement, upGrad India CEO Arjun Mohan said with the rapidly increasing interest in online education and commitment to LifeLong Learning, upGrad has strengthened its position in the higher education sector by entering the test prep market with TGA.

Universities

“The coming months will be very exciting as we have a robust plan of over 100 new program launches with top national & international universities, coupled with other acquisitions in the higher education space,” said upGrad India CEO Arjun Mohan.

For upGrad, this is a first among the series of M&A’s, they plan to announce over the next three months, in allied fields of higher education. upGrad is India’s largest online higher education company. Founded in early 2015, upGrad has impacted almost 1 million individuals globally, within a short span of 5 years.

The edutech startup provides online programs in the areas of Data Science, Technology, Management, and Law to college students, working professionals, and enterprises. These programs are designed and delivered in collaboration with top-notch universities like IIT Madras, IIIT Bangalore, MICA, BIMTECH, NMIMS Global Access, Jindal Global Law School, Duke CE, Deakin University, Liverpool John Moores University, and others. 

Learning approach

With an 80% program completion rate, robust tech platform, outcome-based learning approach, industry-relevant curriculum, finest university credentials, strong mentorship, and steadfast placement support, upGrad has established its position as the leader in the Indian education system.

IIIT Bangalore and upGrad’s PG Diploma in Data Science is India’s first-ever PG Diploma, with over 10,000 alumni & learner-base, to be recommended and validated by the NASSCOM and is aligned to Government approved National Occupational Standards (NOS). ​

upGrad ranked​ as India’s​ No.1​ startup,​ ​as per the LinkedIn​ ​Top​ ​Startups 2020 list. This is the third time in a row that upGrad has been featured​ ​in the​ top startup list by LinkedIn. ​The edtech major received the title of ‘Best Education Brands’ by Economic Times in 2020​ for the second time, post winning the same title in 2018. ​

The brand made it to the​ prestigious​ GSV Global EdTech 50 List 2020. ​Owing to its world-class learning platform. upGrad won the ‘Best Communication and Teaching Platform’ in the Education Innovation Awards 2020 by Entrepreneur India​ as well as received the title of ‘Best Tech for Education’ by IAMAI in 2019.

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