Fullstack Academy Joins Blackstone-backed Simplilearn

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Simplilearn acquires New York-based Fullstack Academy

Upskilling edtech platform Simplilearn has acquired US-based bootcamp education company Fullstack Academy, as it looks to scale up in the North America region.

The company did not disclose the size of the deal.

Simplilearn acquired Fullstack from publicly traded US edtech Zovio Inc, which has over the past few months been taking steps to dissolve the company. In September, Zovio, in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said it was looking to sell Fullstack for $34-$55 million.

Simplilearn, which had acquired online marketing courses provider Market Motive in 2015, raised $45 million in fresh funding earlier this month from a consortium of investors led by GSV Ventures. Its limited partners (LPs) had also participated in the funding round.

Simplilearn’s founder and chief executive Krishna Kumar said it would use the capital to grow inorganically and to add competencies in the areas of assessment, as well as look at bolstering its presence in international geographies such as the UK.

In July last year, global buyout firm Blackstone entered into a definitive agreement to acquire over 60% stake Simplilearn for $250 million. Since then, Simplilearn said it had added more than 120,000 paid B2C learners and another 100,000 enterprise learners on its platform.

“We are constantly looking for acquisitions and Blackstone being an acquisitive fund is open to inorganic bets,” Kumar told ET. “However, when we look at acquisitions it has to have strong competency and add more value. In Fullstack’s case we get scale and add competencies through newer university partnerships. The company’s scale, while being profitable, complements our business as well.”

Fullstack Academy is expected to clock $30 million in revenue by the end of its fiscal year in December. The company has been clocking $3.5 million in monthly revenue, Kumar added.

Through the acquisition, Simplilearn is also expected to launch newer courses in partnership with US universities on its platform.

Founded in 2012, Fullstack Academy offers web development, cybersecurity, data analytics, DevOps, and product management boot camps to students in the United States. With the Fullstack acquisition, Simplilearn will get access to over 300 employees and 19 new universities in the US. It has trained close to 7,000 individuals till date.

Previously, Simplilearn had a team of 20 employees and nine university partnerships in the United States.

The acquisition comes at a time when Simplilearn is looking to clock Rs 1,000 crore in revenue and turn profitable, by FY24.

It’s losses jumped to Rs 150 crore in FY22, compared to Rs 5.6 crore in the year-ago period.

Overall revenue grew to Rs 480 crore in FY22 from Rs 340.8 crore in FY21.

“Usually, the fourth quarter is the biggest quarter and we are on track to touch our target of Rs 1,000 crore with the Simplilearn business. We are at roughly Rs 800 crore of revenue and with the Fullstack acquisition, our revenues will touch Rs 1100 crore in FY23,” Kumar said.

At present, Kumar said Simplilearn is clocking Rs 70 crore in monthly revenue.

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