upGrad, Asia’s integrated higher edtech leader, has entered into an exclusive acquisition agreement with Global Study Partners (GSP), Australia’s largest study abroad company, in a bid to strengthen its overseas education network. upGrad will invest USD 16 Million to buy 100% of GSP and commit a further USD 10 Million for future growth. GSP is slated to close its current financials at a GMV of over USD 10 million which will grow four-fold in the coming year.
Following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, 45.2% of prospective global students are now interested in studying their program virtually as an alternative, according to The Impact of COVID 19 on Study Abroad Survey. Canada’s ApplyBoard in the same segment got funded recently at a USD 4 billion valuation. Leveraging this behavioural change, upGrad’s acquisition of GSP strengthens its foray in Study Abroad, one of the fastest growing segments worldwide.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Sydney, Global Study Partners (GSP) boasts of an extensive institution network of over 600, with a focus on countries including, Australia, the UK, Canada, and the US, which are some of the most popular Study Abroad destinations in the world. GSP is also armed with more than 1,300 recruitment partners, including education and migration agents, schools, test preparation centres, alumni associations etc.
“As an Integrated EdTech leader – we span the entire gamut of a learner’s need from the age of 18-50 and in that, Study Abroad is a key growth initiative for us – not just out of India which is one of the two largest markets but also for our learners internationally. GSP coming into upGrad’s fold will be a needle mover for us to attain a headstart in being a global leader in this segment too,” said Ronnie Screwvala, Chairperson & Co-Founder, upGrad.
Elaine Starkey, CEO and Founder, Global Study Partners, said “I couldn’t think of a more complementary business that is underpinned by shared principles and ethics “to empower learners throughout the world. Ronnie and Mayank are true visionaries with a deep understanding of this sector and truly get that ‘it’s all about the learner’s experience’. GSP partners’ – institutions and recruitment partners – worldwide, will enjoy the benefits that the additional reach and capacity GSP can now deliver, and they can expect significant growth in quality student enrolments.”
Students opting for Higher Education abroad from India are increasing rapidly and expected to reach ~1.8 million by 2024, as per Redseer report. They would be spending USD 75-85 Bn overseas, as Online emerges as the dominant channel for availing these services.
“With 150K students every year, Australia is one of the biggest destination markets for Indian learners. With these two education giants in the key supplier and the demand markets combining forces, we are looking to build a revenue of USD 100Mn in study abroad business in the next 3 years,” Gaurav Kumar, President – Corporate Development and M&A, upGrad.