Revenue Models

upGrad Business (Revenue) Model | Success Story of upGrad (Business Model of upGrad)

UpGrad business model works on a two-way approach that bridge the gap between the learners and learning providers to make them future ready, started in 2015. It is an EdTech startup that came out with the motive to help students with their higher education.

It is a business where they provide multiple courses to the students which students can easily access from anywhere. They also caters a large variety of courses ranging from undergraduate programs to Master’s degree programs.

Master’s degrees and some post-graduate programs are only offered on a fee payment system. Otherwise, most courses are at very nominal cost or free of cost. All the courses offered a completion certificate unlike other educational applications in the market.

upGrad Brand Ambassador "Vicky Kausha;"
upGrad Brand Ambassador – “Vicky Kaushal”

By the End of this article, you’ll know:

  • upGrad Company Highlights
  • upGrad – Name, Logo and Tagline
  • upGrad Vision and Mission
  • About upGrad
  • Founder of upGrad
  • upGrad Business Model
  • upGrad Revenue Model
  • Revenue Model of upGrad
  • upGrad Competitors

upGrad Company Highlights

Company NameupGrad
HeadquartersMumbai, Maharashtra, India
FoundersRonnie Screwvala
Mayank Kumar
Phalgun Kompalli
Ravijot Chugh
Parent OrganizationUpGrad Education Pvt. Ltd
Net Worth$1.2 Bn Valuation (August 2021)

upGrad – Name, Logo and Tagline

NAME of the STARTUP – “upGrad

TAGLINE – “Building The Careers Of Tomorrow

upGrad is an EdTech startup that came out with the motive to help students with their higher education.

upGrad Logo
UpGrad Logo

upGrad Vision and Mision

"upGrad" Vision and Mission
Upgrad – Vision and Mission – Successko

About upGrad

upGrad Education Pvt. Ltd. is an online higher education company that provides courses in online mode in the areas of data, technology, and management to college students, job seekers, and working professionals and empowers them to reach their peak potential. These programs are designed in collaboration with top-notch universities like IIIT-B, BITS Pilani, MICA, Cambridge Judge Business School, and many more.

To enhance the learning experience further, a comprehensive ecosystem has been built by upGrad which includes, but is not restricted to, one-on-one mentoringpeer-to-peer learning, industry networking, and expert career guidance. This ensures a holistic approach to gaining the maximum output of the programs offered.

“We, at upGrad, had always believed in the potential of online education being able to transform careers. Hence, the development and adherence to the company’s vision statement since its inception in 2015 – ‘Building careers of tomorrow’,” said Ronnie Screwvala, upGrad founder.

upGrad – Founders and Team

upGrad Cofounders - Successko

upGrad was founded in 2015 by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, Phalgun Kompalli, and Ravijot Chugh.

1. Ronnie Screwvala | Co-founder & Chairman, upGrad

Ronnie Screwvala - upGrad Cofounder
Ronnie Screwvala – UpGrad Co-Founder

Ronnie Screwvala is the chairman of the Startup upGrad. He is a well-known personality in the Indian television industry and the founder of UTV Group (now known as Walt Disney India), founder trustee of Swades Foundationfounder of Unilazer Ventures, Board of Advisor AIESEC India, and the founder of RSVP Movies.

He is a great personality, has featured on Esquire’s List of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century and ranked 78 among the 100 most influential people in the world on the Time 100 (compiled by Time Magazine, 2009). He was also listed amongst 25 Asia’s Most Powerful People by Fortune Magazine and titled the Jack Warner of India 

by Newsweek.

2. Mayank Kumar | Co-founder & MD, upGrad

Mayank Kumar - upGrad Cofounder
Mayank Kumar – UpGrad Co-Founder

Mayank Kumar is the managing director and leads the overall operations at upGrad. Before his upGrad stint, Mayank was the VP of Education at Bertelsmann- Europe’s largest media and education conglomerate—where he oversaw the education strategy and its multi-million dollar investments in India. He also served as a Board Member of iNurture—India’s number one provider of industry-specific academic programs.

Mayank holds a Bachelor’s degree from IIT Delhi and an MBA from the Indian School of Business. He received the coveted BWDISRUPT 40-under-40 Achiever of the Year Award’17 by BW Businessworld. Before joining Bertelsmann, Mayank was a Senior Principal at The Parthenon Group where he advised clients in the education sector on market potential, growth and market entry strategies, investment decisions, revenue & profit uplift strategies. He participated in deals worth USD 1 billion flowing into the education sector and worked with clients from China, South-East Asia, Middle East India, and South America. He also worked at the Tata Strategic Group, advising Tata’s strategic direction.

3. Ravijot Chugh | Co-founder, upGrad

Ravijot Chugh - upGrad Cofounder
Ravijot Chugh – UpGrad Cofounder

Ravijot Chugh heads career services, product, design, content, delivery, and student success divisions at upGrad. Ravijot was at as a product lead and then at the Parthenon Group where he advised multiple companies and private equity investors on due diligence, market-entry, and growth strategy in the education sector of emerging markets across the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. He also co-founded a social travel startup called in San Francisco. Ravijot Chugh holds a Bachelors’s degree in Computer Science from IIT-Delhi and was part of the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 cohort of 2018.

4. Phalgun Kompalli | Co-founder, upGrad

Phalgun Kompalli - upGrad Cofounder
Phalgun Kompalli – UpGrad Co Founder

Phalgun Kompalli is the head of sales and marketing at upGrad. He heads university partnerships and customer acquisition in addition to sales and marketing. Before UpGrad, Phalgun was a Principal at The Parthenon Group—an education strategy-consulting firm—where he was involved in advising large education conglomerates and investment funds on their growth and investment strategies in the education sector. Phalgun has done significant work in the field of higher education and technology-enabled learning across India, the US, Brazil, Africa, and Southeast Asia. He worked at Opera Solutions before his Parthenon stint. Opera Solutions is an analytics firm providing consultation to Fortune 500 companies on their revenue and cost optimization initiatives through data analytics. He completed his Bachelors in Technology from IIT Delhi.

upGrad Business Model | upGrad Revenue Model

upGrad is largely built on a direct B2C model of business wherein the consumer enrolls in the program (post receiving an admit) and pays upfront for the enrollment. 

For its enterprise business, the company receives payment from companies for training their employees. upGrad earns revenue on contractual basis

upGrad’s program pricing reflects its commitment towards getting students placed. 50% of the program fees are collected from the learner only if they get placed after the program’s completion. This pricing strategy is the first of its kind in India.

upGrad_Global study partners

Articles Related to upGrad Business Model (Revenue)

upGrad – Competitors

The top competitors of upGrad are –

  • Byju’s
  • Coursera
  • Udemy
  • Edureka
  • Simplilearn
  • Unacademy and more.

However, there are certain features that stands out the upGrad apart from its competitors. One of the main USPs is the hand-holding provided to each learner. This practice is called ‘student mentorship’ and the team behind it is known as ‘Student Success’ at upGrad.

upGrad – Acquisitions

upGrad aggressively acquired many startups to expand their business exponentially. Talentedge is the latest company that is acquired by upGrad on December 6, 2021. Though the deal value is not disclosed by the company, upGrad has stated in a press statement that the deal is valued around 3-4X of this year’s revenues of Talentedge, which was reported to be at around Rs 130 crore.    

upGrad has acquired Global Study Partners (GSP), an Australian two-sided marketplace for the recruitment of international students, on November 29, 2021. The company has further promised to invest $16 Mn for a 100% stake in GSP and then allot another $10 mn for its future growth.

upGrad acquired KnowledgeHut, short-term skilling and training courses startup on August 3, 2021. Some other notable acquisitions made by the company were when upGrad acquired Impartus for Rs. 150 crores ( $20.6 Million).

Impartus was a video-learning solutions provider, which is currently operating as a complete subsidiary of upGrad. upGrad acquired Acadview Software in 2018, thereby venturing into the college education space. Before this, the company had acquired Pyoopil Education Technologies, a mobile-based SaaS (Software- as- a- service) product used by companies to deploy online training in 2016. 

In 2019, upGrad acquired CohortPlus, India’s largest and most active community on product management and data science.

upGrad Aquisitions

Here’s the table mentioned of all the acquisitions that upGrad has seen so far.

TalentedgeDecember 6, 2021Undisclosed
Global Study PartnersNovember 29, 2021Undisclosed
KnowledgeHutAugust 3, 2021Undisclosed
Impartus InnovationsMay 24, 2021$20.22 million
Rekrut IndiaDecember 15, 2020Undisclosed
The Gate AcademyNovember 24, 2020Undisclosed
CohortPlusJuly 4, 2019Undisclosed
AcadViewOctober 29, 2018Undisclosed
Pyoopil Education Technologies Pvt LtdOctober 17, 2016Undisclosed
upGrad Aquisitions – Successko

upGrad conducted its maiden ESOP on July 13, 2021, and in it, the company promised the liquidity of an amount close to $29.5 Mn (Rs 220 crores). The maiden ESOP of upGrad has formed a large ESOP pool of around 13% of the enlarged equity base and is planned to benefit both the early and promising team members of the company.

The inclusive ESOP scheme boasts of having over 600 team members, who share the growth story of the company, consisting of 37 early team members.

The company has further increased its employee stock option program (ESOPs) pool by 28% in the middle of November. upGrad, which has earlier spoken of 17,25,810 options (UPGRAD Education-Employee Stock Option (New) Scheme, 2015) has now made it 22,25,810.

This also resulted in lifting the pool’s value by 29%, to Rs 427 crore, which was last reported at Rs 331 crore.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »