Blackstone disclosed that it is acquiring Simplilearn for $250 million. Edtech startup Simplilearn helps people learn skills relating to data science, AI, machine learning, cloud computing, etc., that are in high demand in the market with its eponymous platform. It partners with leading institutions like IIT Kanpur, Caltech, and Purdue University, to give students who enroll and complete courses that it has to offer certificates from the aforementioned institutes.
Simplilearn says since the eleven years that it’s been operational, it has provided services to more than 2 million people and about 2,000 companies including big names like Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. The platform runs 1,000 live classes each month, Simplilearn says.
In 2016, Simplilearn was valued at $80 million after a Series C funding round saw participation from Brand Capital, Kalaari Capital, Helion Venture Partners, and Mayfield among its early backers. According to insight platform Tracxn, Simplilearn had raised about $34.4 million before today’s deal.
Following the announcement of the Blackstone acquisition deal, Kalaari Capital, Helion Venture Partners, and Mayfield Fund have taken exit but the company’s leadership team of Simplilearn haven’t sold their stakes, according to an unnamed source.
Talking about the development, Amit Dixit, Head of Asia for Blackstone, said in a statement that “this is Blackstone’s first private equity investment in Asia in a consumer technology company. 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.”
Krishna Kumar, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Simplilearn, in a statement, said that “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 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 added.