Private equity fund Blackstone has announced that it will be acquiring majority stakes in Simplilearn Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a 10-year old startup focussed on providing early to mid-career professionals with the means of acquiring “new-age digital skills,” from over 100 courses spanning across the likes of DevOps, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Cyber Security, Cloud, Data Science, and Digital Marketing, among others.

Simplilearn was founded by now CEO Krishna Kumar back in 2010, and has forged up collaborations with some of the best universities in India and abroad, along with a number of companies, to ensure that learners get only the best in class resources for the needs. Caltech CTME, Umass Amherst, MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, Purdue Online, IIT Kanpur, Isenberg School of Management, and Jagdish Sheth School of Management, are partners in the platform’s endeavours, along with tech and management giants like Amazon, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, and KPMG.

The company currently has two headquarters, one set up at San Francisco, USA, and the other at Bangalore, India, and claims to have provided educational outlets to over 2 million professionals, belonging to over 2,000 firms from 150 countries. Additionally, with its individualized courses with over 1,000 classes per month, and its certificate programs, the group also prides itself in equipping the professional work force in the modern world, with the skills they need to excel in their fields.

Following the announcement of the deal, Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO, Simplilearn, said,  “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 opportune time to take the next big leap in our journey to build the world’s largest digital skilling company. 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. We would also like to thank our previous investors, Kalaari Capital, Helion Venture Partners and Mayfield Fund for their undaunted support and trust in our journey of becoming a market leader.”

Meanwhile, Blackstone, too, has the reputation of being  one of the biggest investment firms in the world, with a vision to leave behind a positive impact on the economy and long-term value of firms. As of now, the firm has some $649 billion in assets, which are involved in equity, growth equity, life sciences, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, and real assets, as well as secondary funds.

Blackstone Private Equity’s Head of Asia, Amit Dixit, expressed his own views over the deal, saying, “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. We are excited to partner with Krishna Kumar and Simplilearn’s top-notch management team to accelerate growth and build the world’s pre-eminent digital learning company, and we expect this to be the first of many such investments in Asia.”