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upGrad raises $9.3 mn from Unilazer Ventures, partners EyeWay Vision for AR learning solutions

upGrad raises $9.3 mn from Unilazer Ventures, partners EyeWay Vision for AR learning solutions
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
14 Apr, 2021

Mumbai headquartered upGrad Education, which runs an eponymous edtech platform, has raised fresh funds from Unilazer Ventures.  

The company has allotted 7,00,00,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each to raise Rs 70 crore ($9.3 million), regulatory filings show. 

Unilazer Ventures is a Mumbai based private equity and venture capital firm run by upGrad’s co-founder and CEO Ronnie Screwvala. It has so far invested in startups such as Dogspot, Zivame, ShopClues and Lenskart.  

In a separate statement, the edtech major said it has partnered with Israeli firm EyeWay Vision to enable enhanced augmented reality (AR)-driven learning experience.  

EyeWay Vision develops wearable AR systems that claim to provide an immersive experience on the go. Established in 2014, the company has raised $46 million in funding from strategic investors, including Samsung Next, Verizon Ventures, Horizons Ventures, ICONIQ Capital, and OurCrowd.  

With this partnership, EyeWay will bring immersive AR to upGrad learners, the companies said in a joint statement. upGrad will leverage EyeWay's customised system to explore the development of AR-enhanced learning experiences and online programmes. At an advanced stage, EyeWay and upGrad may allow university partners to join a pilot programme.  

"The partnership with EyeWay Vision is a path-breaking step wherein we look at developing an augmented three-dimensional interactive learning environment to keep our learners engaged. Not only would this move disrupt the edtech market at large but it would also contribute towards our vision of making world-class education mainstream,” Ronnie Screwvala and Phalgun Kompalli, co-founders of upGrad, said.  

The global e-learning market was estimated at $144 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $374.3 billion by 2026, according to market research firm Facts and Factors. The market for virtual and augmented reality is expected to reach more than $67 billion globally by 2024, according to AR/VR analyst firm Digi-Capital.   

upGrad recently said that its annual revenue run rate (ARR) for financial year 2020-21 (FY21) has hit Rs 1,200 crore or $165 million in FY21.  

In 2020, upGrad grew 100% in revenues and tripled its course offerings with three acquisitions.  

upGrad is currently offering more than 100 courses in collaboration with global universities such as Deakin Business School (Australia), Duke CE (US), Michigan State University (US), Liverpool Business School (UK), IIT Madras (India), IIM Kozhikode (India) and others.  The company claims to have impacted over 1 million total registered learners over 50 countries across the world.