Interaction with learners

Blackstone invests $ 250 million in Simplilearn to acquire more than 60% stake

New Delhi: Global private equity firm Blackstone announced Monday that it is investing $ 250 million in Indian online education firm Simplilearn Solutions Pvt Ltd to acquire a controlling stake.

The investment will give Blackstone control of over 60% of the stake in the Bengaluru-based company, one of the oldest in the online higher education space in India.

The new funding will also see the exit of its existing investors like Kalaari Capital, Helion Ventures and Mayfield.

“We believe that Blackstone can add significant value to our business due to its scale, its commitment to building businesses and its global network, which will allow us to develop partnerships with businesses and universities as Simplilearn continues to expand around the world. We would also like to thank our previous investors, Kalaari Capital, Helion Venture Partners and Mayfield Fund for their continued support and confidence in our journey to become a market leader, ”said Krishna Kumar, Founder and Managing Director of Simplilearn on Monday.

In an interaction with Mint last month, Kumar had hinted that new investors were in contact with him for a capital injection and that some of his existing investors were considering pulling out.

Amit Dixit, Asia Head of Blackstone Private Equity, said this was Blackstone’s first private equity investment in Asia in a “consumer technology company.” Like many other industries, technology is disrupting education and educational technology has been a theme of conviction for Blackstone in India and around the world. “

“Simplilearn is a differentiated player in the field of digital skills with premium content created in partnership with renowned university and industrial partners. We are excited to partner with Krishna Kumar and the leadership team at Simplilearn to accelerate growth and build the world’s largest digital learning company, and we expect this to be the first of many investments from this guy in Asia, ”Dixit said.

Mukesh Mehta, Senior Managing Director of Blackstone, said he was impressed with Simplilearn’s synchronous pedagogy model focused on achieving superior results for its learners.

Simplilearn has demonstrated strong and profitable growth and wanted to drive that growth through targeted investments in technology, leveraging Blackstone’s global network and expertise in education technology, and leveraging our relationships. with universities and global companies, Mehta said.

Blackstone is a global physical education giant and has previously invested in Indian education test preparation company Aakash Education and Byju’s. Three decades old Aakash was acquired by Byju earlier this year for around $ 1 billion.

Founded in 2010, Simplilearn has reportedly been profitable for four years and is aggressively looking to acquire new customers. Currently, it has a reach of over two million learners, both professional and student.

Kumar said the pandemic has accelerated the need for digital skills and the industry has shown an absolute willingness to improve online. “Therefore, now is the best time to take the next big step on our journey to building the world’s largest digital skills company. We are delighted to partner with Blackstone, a globally recognized investor with a solid track record in the electronics technology industry, ”he said.

Simplilearn offers over 100 programs for early-career professionals in areas such as cloud, DevOps, data science, AI, machine learning, digital marketing, cybersecurity and many more, and has partnered with leading global and Indian universities such as Caltech, Purdue University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, IIT Kanpur and companies like IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and KPMG.

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