Private equity funds managed by Blackstone have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Simplilearn Solutions Pvt. Ltd., an online learning ‘bootcamp’ based in India offering digital skills training and courses to working professionals globally.
Krishna Kumar, founder and CEO, Simplilearn, 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 recognized 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.”
Amit Dixit, Head of Asia for Blackstone Private Equity, said, “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, said, “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.”
Avendus acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Simplilearn and its shareholders on the transaction. Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co acted as legal advisor to Simplilearn. KPMG, EY-Parthenon, Khaitan & Co. and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett acted as advisors to Blackstone.