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Exclusive | Simplilearn doubles revenue in six months after Blackstone investment, strengthening CXO positions: Founder Krishna Kumar

Simplilearn have opened several top-level positions including VPs and CXO-level roles as it seeks to accelerate growth in India and the US. When Blackstone invested in July-August, Simplilearn had reported a revenue of Rs 357 crore, which has crossed Rs 800 crore. And by end of FY23, the number is set to be more than Rs 1,300 crore, says Kumar.

New Delhi / February 23, 2022 / 09:23 AM IST
Krishna Kumar, CEO and Founder, Simplilearn

Krishna Kumar, CEO and Founder, Simplilearn

Edtech platform Simplilearn has doubled its revenue within six months of global private equity firm Blackstone taking a controlling stake in it, and the online higher education company is strengthening its CXO-level positions as it seeks to accelerate growth.

Krishna Kumar, founder and chief executive of Simplilearn, told Moneycontrol in an interview that when Blackstone came on board in July-August, it had reported a revenue of Rs 357 crore and now that has crossed Rs 800 crore. And by end of next fiscal (FY23), the number is set to be more than Rs 1,300 crore.

“We have more than doubled our revenue in last six months. We are a profitable and growing company and Blackstone’s investment helped expedite growth. This has resulted in doubling our business. We are around Rs 800 crore (in terms of revenue) now, but our focus is on next financial year,” Kumar said. Simplilearn is one of the older edtech players in the Indian higher education space.

“When Blackstone invested we had reported a revenue of Rs 357 crore, and we were profitable. At this stage, we expect the revenue to become at least Rs 1,300 crore in FY23,” he noted.

Global PE firm Blackstone invested $250 million (over Rs 1,872 crore) in Simplilearn Solutions Pvt Ltd for a controlling stake in July 2021. It picked up more than 60 percent stake in the Bengaluru-headquartered Simplilearn, one of the oldest firms in the online higher education space founded in 2010.

Kumar said Blackstone’s investment gave the company flexibility to invest and the global reach and experience of the leaders also helped. Blackstone has a track record of investing in a company and scaling it multiple times, he said.

"More than the investment, the know-how of the team, the global reach and in general the momentum in the education sector are helping the company grow faster,” Kumar said.

CXO and leadership hiring

Kumar said the company has opened several positions in the vice president and senior vice president levels, and has extended offers to some, and more are in the pipeline. And this CXO-level hiring is not just confined to India. He is also hiring for the US market, where the company is filling up three CXO- level positions to expand its footprint there.

“We have opened several top-level positions including VPs and similar roles, we have already offered positions and a few more are on their way. We are strengthening our CXO team in India, and the US. We have already offered two CXO-level positions in the US and one more will be closed soon,” Kumar said but declined to share details as the process is still on.

“I won’t speak about the roles now prematurely. The company is looking to rejig some positions, and we will make the announcements at the right time,” he asserted.

Kumar said one of the key areas Simplilearn is focusing on is technology and product. “That team has pretty much doubled. As a company we are focused on outcome and we are doing great,” he added.

The founder said in the last six to nine months, Simplilearn has already hired around 700 more people to make the headcount touch almost 1,800 people.

Simplilearn offers courses across domains like Data and AI, programming, cloud, and digital marketing and has partnerships with universities like MIT and Caltech, and industry partners such as IBM, Microsoft Azure, and Facebook.
Prashant K Nanda is an Associate Editor at Moneycontrol .