Global private equity firm Blackstone is investing $250 million to acquire a controlling stake in top upskilling ed-tech firm Simplilearn Solutions. It is a leading online learning ‘boot camp based in India offering digital skills training and courses to working professionals worldwide, said a statement released on July 19, 2021.
Founded by Krishna Kumar in 2010, Simplilearn is running profitably for the fourth year in a row. The platform has over 100 programs for early and mid-career professionals. It assists in acquiring new-age digital skills across Cloud and offers programs in partnership with top global and Indian universities and enterprises to enable learners to get the best academic and industry exposure.
As per available data, more than two million professionals globally have used Simplilearn to date. The company is currently collaborating with renowned educational institutes like Caltech CTME, MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, UMass Amherst and the Isenberg School of Management, Purdue Online, Jagdish Sheth School of Management and IIT Kanpur and companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and KPMG. These courses allow professionals to develop digital skills and help businesses upskill their workforce to keep up with the constantly changing demands driven by digitization.
“The pandemic has only accelerated the need for digital skills and the industry has demonstrated absolute readiness for upskilling online. Hence, this is the most suitable time to take the next big leap in our journey to build the world’s largest digital skilling company,” said Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO, Simplilearn.
“We are excited to partner with Blackstone, a globally recognized investor with a strong track record in the ed-tech sector. We believe Blackstone can add significant value to our company because of their scale, commitment to building businesses, and global network, which will enable us to develop partnerships with businesses and universities as Simplilearn continues to expand around the world,” he said.
Blackstone brings global expertise in education technology. Its portfolio includes a partnership with Aakash Educational Services and Byju’s to build India’s largest digitally-enabled omnichannel education company and the acquisition of Ascend Learning, which provides technology-based educational content and software tools.
Amit Dixit, Head of Asia for Blackstone Private Equity, said: “This is Blackstone’s first private equity investment in Asia in a consumer technology company. Like many other sectors, technology is disrupting education and education technology has been a high conviction theme for Blackstone in India and globally. Simplilearn is a differentiated player in the digital skilling space with premium content created in partnership with marquee university and industry partners.”