Edtech unicorn upGrad’s losses widened three times to ₹627 crore in the financial year ended March 2022, compared to ₹211 crore losses reported last year.
The company’s MCA filings show that its employee benefit costs have jumped 2.4 times in FY22 to ₹383 crore compared to ₹161 crore in FY21.
Other expenses increased 2.5 times to around ₹616 crore in FY22 compared to ₹248 crore in FY21 on a consolidated basis.
This includes expenses like advertising and marketing spend. upGrad’s total revenue, on a consolidated basis, doubled to ₹682 crore in FY22. On a standalone basis, its total revenue jumped to ₹519 crore (₹303 crore).
The company’s losses mainly grew due to a significant rise in expenses during FY22. The total expenses for the fiscal were reported as Rs 1,319 crore in FY22, a jump of 157 per cent from Rs 514 crore last year.
The biggest expense for the edtech firm was advertising and promotional expenses, for which the company spent Rs 393 crore in FY22, almost double of Rs 205 crore it spent in FY21. Total employee benefits expense was Rs 278.5 crore in FY22 compared to Rs 157 crore last year.
upGrad competes with players such as Simplilearn, Coursera, 2U, edX, Chegg, Skillsoft and Byju’s. It is implementing M&As (mergers and acquisitions) strategy, where it is in negotiations to acquire various companies in markets such as the US and Southeast Asia.
This year upGrad acquired companies such as Centum, Exampur, Harappa Education, Insofe and Work Better.
The firm recently raised funding of $210 million from marquee investors and family offices. These include Bodhi Tree (a JV of James Murdoch & Uday Shankar), the family office of Bharti Airtel, Narotam Sekhsaria family office (Ambuja Cements and ACC), and Artian Investments (family office of Lakshmi Mittal – ArcelorMittal). According to sources, the funding has helped the firm double its valuation to $2.25 billion.
Offline higher education
Earlier this week, upGrad announced its entry into the offline higher education space with the launch of its new brand “UGDX” which stands for upGrad’s massive thrust in emerging digital technologies.
With an investment of $30 million, UGDX will open 10 institutes in the next year: 3 in the US of which the San Francisco unit goes live in January 2023, 5 in India across Delhi & Chennai to add to its existing facilities in Mumbai, Hyderabad & Bangalore, and 1 each in Singapore and Middle East
While the larger edtech ecosystem has seen a spate of layoffs, upGrad has been on an an acquisition spree.
The company has acquired over 10 companies including Exampur, Centum Learning, WOLVES Recruitment firm, Harrappa Education, Talentedge, Study Partners, Knowledgehut, and Rekrut India among others.