Edtech Unicorn upGrad Buys Test-Prep Provider Exampur Marking 5th Acquisition Of 2022

Edtech startup upGrad has acquired test-preparation startup Exampur in an undisclosed deal. 

In its fifth acquisition this year, upGrad said that it sees test-prep as a high potential growth driver and the deal, which is a 100% merger agreement, fits well into its learning initiative.

“I realise that it (test-prep segment) comes with a high customer acquisition cost (CAC), but it also delivers higher returns in terms of outcomes,” said Gaurav Kumar, president, Corporate Development, upGrad. 

“Therefore, we wanted a partner with the right set of DNA within this space and Exampur seamlessly fits into our LifeLongLearning jigsaw,” Kumar added. 

Cofounded by Vivek Kumar and Vardan Gandhi in 2018, Exampur is a Noida-based learning platform that offers over 200 test-prep courses for various competitive exams to crack government jobs. It delivers a majority of the content through its YouTube channels.

As per upGrad, Exampur also offers online test series, free quizzes, and live scholarship tests to help aspirants assess their professional competencies and streamline learning process. 

Cumulatively, as the startup said, Exampur’s current subscriber base is over 12 Mn with an average viewership of 2.5 Mn students. Almost 90% of Exampur’s paid users are from Tier-2,3 and 4 markets.

Exampur further said it aims to achieve INR 70 Cr ($7.5 Mn) revenue in the current fiscal year.

Commenting on the deal, Vivek and Vardan, cofounders of Exampur said, “We are happy to have strong leadership support through upGrad who have already built a business which is set to outlast its peers and shall accelerate our growth in the coming times.”

Founded in 2015 by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, Ravijot Chugh and Phalgun Kompalli, upGrad offers higher education courses across the world. The edtech startup, which entered the unicorn club in August last year, claims to have a user base of 3 Mn in over 100 countries.

Exampur is upGrad’s second acquisition of a similar category (another edtech platform) since it raised $225 Mn in a fresh funding round from James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems LLC and Educational Testing Service (ETS) in June this year.

Prior to this, upGrad acquired B2B edtech startup Harappa Education for $38 Mn (INR 300 Cr) in July.

Besides, in July, upGrad’s a 100% subsidiary– Rekrut acquired WOLVES India, a recruitment and staffing company.

Also, earlier in May, it acquired an educational institute, the International School of Engineering (INSOFE) in a $33 Mn share swap deal.

In FY21, upGrad reported a consolidated loss after tax of INR 211 Cr in FY21, a 167.8% jump from INR 78.8 Cr in FY20. Its total FY21 expenses stood at INR 513.7 Cr, a 112.8% rise from INR 241.4 Cr in FY20.

Meanwhile, as per a last month’s report, a few edtech startups including upGrad, BYJU’S, and Unacademy came under the government’s scanner as the Department of Consumer Affairs has taken note of their alleged misselling of courses.

Pegged at $2.8 Bn in 2020, the market size of edtech is estimated to grow 3.7X in the next five years in India to $10.4 Bn in 2025, as per an Inc42 report. 

Update | August 2, 5:24 PM

Exampur is the fifth acquisition by upGrad in 2022, not fourth. The headline and story have been corrected to reflect this. The error is regretted.

Edtech Unicorn upGrad Buys Test-Prep Provider Exampur Marking 5th Acquisition Of 2022. I wish you great success in this endeavour.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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