SAN FRANCISCO, July 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackstone (NYSE:BX) announced today that private equity funds managed by Blackstone ("Blackstone") have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Simplilearn Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading online learning 'bootcamp' based in India offering digital skills training and courses to working professionals all over the world.
Simplilearn was founded in 2010 by its Chief Executive Officer Krishna Kumar. Profitable for the fourth year in a row, the platform offers over 100 programs to help early to mid-career professionals acquire new-age digital skills across Cloud, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Digital Marketing, Cyber Security and many more. Simplilearn offers programs in partnership with top global & Indian universities, and enterprises to enable learners to get the best of academic and industry exposure. The company is currently collaborating with renowned educational institutes such as Caltech CTME, MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, UMass Amherst and the Isenberg School of Management, Purdue Online, Jagdish Sheth School of Management and IIT Kanpur and companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and KPMG. These courses allow professionals to develop digital skills and help businesses upskill their workforce to keep up with the constantly changing demands driven by digitization. More than two million professionals globally have used Simplilearn to date.
Krishna Kumar, Founder & 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. 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, 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."
Blackstone brings global expertise in education technology, including the partnership with Aakash Educational Services and Byju's to build India's largest digitally enabled, omnichannel education company; acquisition of Ascend Learning, which provides technology-based educational content and software tools for students, institutions, and employers; and recent investments in Ellucian (a leading software provider to universities) and Articulate (a SaaS training and development platform for companies).
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.
Simplilearn is the world's #1 online bootcamp for digital skills training, focused on helping people acquire the skills they need to thrive in the digital economy. Simplilearn provides outcome-based online training across technologies and applications in Data Science, AI and Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Digital Marketing, DevOps, Project Management, and other critical digital disciplines. Through individual courses, comprehensive certification programs, and partnerships with world-renowned universities, Simplilearn provides millions of professionals and thousands of corporate training organizations with the work-ready skills they need to excel in their careers. Based in San Francisco, CA, and Bangalore, India, Simplilearn has helped over 2,000,000 professionals and 2,000 companies across 150 countries to get trained, acquire certifications, and reach their business and career goals. With over 1,000 live classes each month, real-world projects, and more, professionals learn by doing with Simplilearn. Ongoing industry recognition for the company includes the 2020 Aegis Graham Bell Award for Innovation in EdTech, 2020 Stevie® Gold Award for Customer Service Success, and recognition by the prestigious Training Industry Inc. as one of the Top IT Training Companies for 2020, 2021.
Blackstone is one of the world's leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our $649 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.