PE firm Blackstone acquires majority stake in Indian online education start-up Simplilearn



A few months after facilitating the sale of its holding company Aakash Educational Services to edtech leader Byju, private equity firm Blackstone acquired a majority stake in 11-year-old online education company Simplilearn. years, for $ 250 million.

The acquisition will give the original backers of Simplilearn, Kalaari Capital, Helion Venture Partners and Mayfield an exit from their investments. The three venture capital funds collectively invested $ 28 million in Simplilearn and would withdraw six to 15 times their investment, according to local media. The time of India said, citing sources.

Simplilearn CEO and Founder Krishna Kumar will continue to lead the business after the acquisition.

The San Francisco and Bangalore-based company partners with top colleges as well as companies such as IBM, Amazon, Facebook, Caltech, Purdue Online and IIT Kanpur to develop early career professionals. It offers courses in data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital marketing, and cybersecurity.

“This is Blackstone’s first private equity investment in Asia in a consumer technology company. Simplilearn is a differentiated player in the digital training space with premium content created in partnership with renowned universities and industry partners, ”said Amit Dixit, Asia Manager of Blackstone Private Equity, in a statement.

Since the beginning of this year, Simplilearn has been on the market raise around $ 150 million to offer a partial exit to its investors. Talk about the acquisition with the local news channel CNBC-TV18, said the founder of Simplilearn: “Most of our investors have an exit cycle, and we were looking for an option that allows them to exit while building our business for the next scale. “

After the acquisition, the company is looking to expand its operations in the United States and Europe and add more universities as partners. It is also on the verge of doubling its number of employees to 3,000.

“We believe that Blackstone can add significant value to our business because of its scale, its commitment to building businesses and its global network, which will allow us to develop partnerships with businesses and universities as Simplilearn continues. to grow in the world, ”Kumar said.



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