Education has undergone a revolution over the past one-and-a-half year, and while things might not be the same, some things have not changed. One of these is the preference of Indian students to opt to pursue higher education overseas – nearly 7, 70, 000 students opted for higher education in other countries in 2019. Australia, with nearly 1, 50,000 students per year, is one of the most preferred destinations for Indians to pursue higher education.
Edtech startup upGrad, which became a unicorn earlier this year, seems to have kept this in mind as it begins its international expansion. The Edtech upstart has announced acquisition of Global Study Partners (GSP), the largest study abroad company in Australia.
GSP joins upskilling platform KnowledgeHut (acquired for nearly $3 million) and video-learning solutions provider Impartus (acquired for $20 million) to have been acquired by upGrad this year. It had acquired a competitive test preparation platform, The GATE Academy, last year, in moves that have been synonymous to other Edtech giants, as they look to get a pie of the traditional education market.
upGrad will acquire a stake of 100% in GSP for $16 million and has committed an additional $10 million in the future to fuel growth. “With these two education giants as key suppliers and the demand in markets combining forces, we are looking to build a revenue of $100 million in the study abroad business in the next three years,” said Gaurav Kumar, President–Corporate Development and Mergers and Acquisitions, upGrad.
The six-year-old GSP, headquartered in Sydney, closed its current financials at a GMV of over $10 million. It is rightfully the largest study abroad company in Australia, having a network of over 600 institutions in Australia, Britain, Canada, and the US, and over 1,300 recruitment partners that include education and migration agents, schools, test preparation centers, alumni associations, and others.
This might be the best time for upGrad to make its mark in the study abroad vertical, which has been steadily growing in recent times. upGrad believes that this growth will accelerate further, and nearly 1.8 million students would be opting for overseas higher education by 2024 and 8 million students would be spending as much as $85 billion in pursuing higher education overseas virtually.
“As an integrated edtech leader, we span the entire gamut of a learner’s need from the age of 18-50, and in that, study abroad is a key growth initiative for us — not just out of India, which is one of the two largest markets but also for our learners internationally,” upGrad chairman and co-founder Ronnie Screwvala said.