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Ronnie Screwvala-led edtech startup upGrad eyes M&A, buys recruitment firm

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Ronnie Screwvala-led edtech startup upGrad has initiated a merger and mergers and acquisition strategy.  The company has acquired a recruitment firm Wolves India.

In order to acquire diverse businesses in countries like the US and Southeast Asia, upGrad has started an M&A (mergers and acquisitions) strategy. In line with this plan, recruiting and staffing company Wolves India was purchased by upGrad Rekrut, a wholly owned subsidiary of upGrad, for an undisclosed sum. It specializes in assisting in the hiring of IT professionals.

According to the sources, upGrad is taking these actions at a time when its valuation has nearly doubled to $2.25 billion after the company secured $225 million in new funding from investors including James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and the family offices of Lakshmi Mittal of ArcelorMittal and Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti Airtel.

According to Mayank Kumar, co-founder and managing director of upGrad, “geographical expansion is undoubtedly an important area for us.

“We are in discussions with businesses in the US and Southeast Asia, and we’re looking into chances to grow our footprint abroad.”

Because of the importance of the company’s worldwide business, Phalgun Kompalli, the other co-founder, relocated to the US to oversee operations for the brand there.

On Thursday, Upgrad announced that Wolves India, a Bengaluru-based staffing and recruitment platform, has been purchased by its subsidiary Rekrut for an unknown sum.

Wolves India, a company founded in 2016, specializes on placing IT talent across startups, mid-sized companies, and major organizations both in India and abroad.

In technical and product roles, the business claims to have closed over 5,000 placements.

According to Mayank Kumar, co-founder and managing director of Upgrad, “While we observed significant CTCs for our students with Rekrut during FY22, joining Wolves India will offer us a competitive edge in the tech sector. It would promote larger job options for our learners in the form of highly compensated tech roles and increased career acceleration.”

In 2015, Screwvala, Kumar, and Phalgun Kompalli established Upgrad. With a $1.2 billion value, the business entered the exclusive unicorn club in August of last year.

The professional skilling platform is confident in its acquisition plan to expand its user base and connections in additional industries, such as test preparation, through the acquisition of The Gate Academy and staffing and recruiting platform Rekrut in 2020. “Wolves India will carry on running independently under the direction of its Director and Founder Raghu S. 

According to Ajay Shah, managing founder, and Husain Tinwala, co-founder of Upgrad Rekrut, “Wolves’ enthusiasm is in facilitating the ideal matching between corporates and the correct set of individuals through analytics, market research, and new methods.

The data science institute Insofe was purchased by the edtech platform earlier this year for $33 million in exchange for shares.

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