Krishna Kumar, Simplilearn
Krishna Kumar, Simplilearn

Investment firm Blackstone is acquiring a controlling stake in Simplilearn Solutions, an online learning boot camp based in India offering digital skills training and courses to working professionals worldwide.

Founded in 2010, Simplilearn offers more than 100 programmes to help early to mid-career professionals acquire digital skills including cloud, devops, data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning, digital marketing, and cybersecurity.

Simplilearn’s founder and chief executive Krishna Kumar said: “The pandemic has only accelerated the need for digital skills and the industry has demonstrated absolute readiness for upskilling online. Hence, this is the most opportune time to take the next big leap in our journey to build the world’s largest digital skilling company. We are excited to partner with Blackstone, a globally recognised investor with a strong track record in the ed tech sector. We believe Blackstone can add significant value to our company because of their scale, commitment to building businesses, and global network, which will enable us to develop partnerships with businesses and universities as Simplilearn continues to expand around the world. We would also like to thank our previous investors, Kalaari Capital, Helion Venture Partners and Mayfield Fund for their undaunted support and trust in our journey of becoming a market leader.”

Amit Dixit, head of Asia for Blackstone Private Equity, added: “This is Blackstone’s first private equity investment in Asia in a consumer technology company. Like many other sectors, technology is disrupting education and education technology has been a high conviction theme for Blackstone in India and globally. Simplilearn is a differentiated player in the digital skilling space with premium content created in partnership with marquee university and industry partners. We are excited to partner with Krishna Kumar and Simplilearn’s top-notch management team to accelerate growth and build the world’s pre-eminent digital learning company, and we expect this to be the first of many such investments in Asia.”

Mukesh Mehta, a senior managing director at Blackstone, commented: “We have been impressed with Simplilearn’s synchronous model of pedagogy focused on delivering superior outcomes for its learners. Simplilearn has demonstrated strong, profitable growth and we want to turbocharge that growth through focused investments in technology, leveraging Blackstone’s global network and expertise in education technology and bringing to bear our relationships with global universities and enterprises.”

Date published: 20 July 2021

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