Since April 2020, Edutech platform Upgrad has doubled its student base to attain a 1 million-plus userbase.
When you look at the average business performance, you can easily witness a pattern and realize how the pandemic steamrolled the entire economy, including the regular education sector. However, this situation turned out to be a blessing for the edutech platform as the easiest way to contact and communicate was through the Internet.
Upgrad succeeded in doubling their customer base to attain the magical figure of 1 million since the government declared the lockdown due to people being at the Internet's mercy for interactive knowledge sharing. From its incorporation in 2015 till the March of 2020, around 5 lakh professionals actively took the research and upskilling programs on Upgrad.
The numbers were constantly on the rise since the inception; however, Upgrad's core team witnessed that since April, the number of students registering on the domain saw a meteoric rise. And it's not just the user base that has seen witnessed a meteoric rise, but the company's revenue run rate has also doubled consistently quarter after quarter. With the position this organization currently is in, it is looking directly at Rs 1,200 crore's revenue. To put things in context, the company's revenue stood strong at 230 crores in FY20.
To be able to achieve the target of Rs. 1,200 crores the company has set a revenue target of Rs 300 crore for the first quarter of 2021. When one of the founders of Upgrad was questioned about the profitability, he quoted, "First quarter would definitely be profitable; however, the fiscal year would witness no profits as the organization is still in the investment phase. So far, we founders (Ronnie Screwvala, Ravijot Chugh, Phalgun Kompalli, and Mayank Kumar) have invested over Rs 170 crore.”
Upgrad aims to deliver a world-class educational platform to provide meticulous reskilling and upskilling programs with the industry's best-in-class faculty. Upgrad offers certificates in association with multiple leading universities across the globe.
Qualifications from Upgrad hold a vital significance in the market; students who have opted for upskilling through Upgrad have received monitory benefits from their respective organizations, so the pass-outs have even managed to score a hike upward of 40%, mainly ranging from 46% to 55%. Many blue-chip companies rate Upgrad highly and hire Grads from Upgrad; while, few individuals have managed to bag new jobs with double the salary.
Lockdown has inspired people to upskill and acquire new talents; few of the regions have witnessed the demand explode manifold in three areas covering data with a significant focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence. The management sector has also seen a sharp rise in marketing, public relations, and journalism.
When there is an exponential rise in any department, Information technology is a department that is definitely within touching distance. Even with the boom of eLearning platforms, the focus remained constant on cloud computing and the Internet of things, among others. Transactions close to 50 percent resulted from people's natural attraction towards data sciences, closely followed by digital marketing; Upgrad’s major collaboration with MICA constitutes to around 20 percent of their hiring curve.
Upgrad is mainly trying to go above and beyond to ensure they form a partnership with the world's best, and a few of the leading varsities in their portfolio are IIT Madras and IIIT Bengaluru. Since the lockdown, Upgrad has managed to onboard over 100 colleges and universities onto their platform.
Even though the organization is not profitable now, the investors are thrilled with the performance and have claimed the revenue run rate is reasonable and no further capital is needed from external sources or a new investor. However, the company has garnered quite a lot of attention from the investors, but the current board is not looking to onboard any new investors.