At a time when there is a growing number of edtech companies laying off employees in a bid to conserve cash and focus on profitability amid a funding winter, Ronnie Screwvala-led upGrad is expanding its facilities and hiring talent.
The company plans to hire over 1400 team members between November 2022 and March 2023 in India and at offices outside the country.
upGrad has also signed new leases in the past few months for 335,000 sq ft of space across four cities — Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Noida.
The space shall be utilised for office spaces, offline campuses, housing for learners, studios, and training rooms for a growing roster of teachers and faculty.
“Domestic expansion has been a priority for us,” said Mayank Kumar, co-founder and managing director, upGrad.
“While our business model is reaping 100 per cent results quarter-on-quarter, it’s important for us to reinvest our gains to scale the impact we aim to drive.”
The firm is setting up teams in Singapore, San Francisco, Indonesia, New York, the Middle East and London.
The edtech firm is looking to hire people as faculty, trainers, and experts.
It is also looking for talents related to sales and marketing, and content. Currently, upGrad has about 8,600 employees.
“While our focus is on strong online delivery models, we encourage learners to meet us in person while they decide the right programme for them,” said Kumar.
“Having an offline presence allows us to be closer to our learners.”
upGrad recently leased 199,000 sq ft in BKC (Bandra-Kurla-Complex) Mumbai for providing housing facilities to learners.
With an investment of $30 million, upGrad recently said it would open 10 institutes next year under UGDX brand.
These would be located at the campuses of various universities globally.
The 10 institutes shall house 3,000-3,500 students each.
upGrad competes with players such as Simplilearn, Coursera, 2U, edX, Chegg, Skillsoft, and Byju’s.
It recently raised $210 million from marquee investors and family offices.
These include Bodhi Tree (a JV of James Murdoch & Uday Shankar), the family office of Bharti Airtel, Narotam Sekhsaria family office (Ambuja Cements and ACC), and Artian Investments (family office of Lakshmi Mittal).
According to sources, the funding has helped the firm double its valuation to $2.25 billion.
It is helping the firm to expand in markets, such as the US and Southeast Asia.