Moneycontrol PRO

YC-backed edtech startup Skill-Lync acquires Binny Bansal-backed Crio

In a statement, Skill-Lync also said the founders of Crio will continue to focus on and run Crio’s business and growth, after the acquisition. The company, however, did not disclose the deal size.

November 21, 2022 / 10:59 AM IST
Representative image

Representative image

Engineering-focused edtech startup Skill-Lync, on November 21, said it has acquired Crio, an experiential learning platform for tech careers, in an attempt to enhance its offerings in the higher education space at a time when competition intensifies in the segment amid a downturn in online learning. Skill-Lync said, with this acquisition, Crio will operate as an independent brand under the Skill-Lync Group.

In a statement,  Skill-Lync also said the founders of Crio will continue to focus on and run Crio’s business and growth, after the acquisition. The company, however, did not disclose the deal size.

Founded in 2018 by SuryaNarayanan PaneerSelvam and Sarangarajan V Iyengar, edtech startup Skill-Lync is focused on providing industry-relevant and job-leading courses for Engineering students and graduates across all disciplines. Currently, the company said it helps over 30,000 students from all parts of India with such courses.

“Both Crio and Skill-Lync, were started because we wanted to solve a fundamental issue in higher education, i.e. making  engineers industry relevant… as both companies come together, we believe that we have a unique opportunity to build one of the best higher education platforms where we can provide value at scale,” said PaneerSelvam.

Skill-Lync has raised a total of $20 million in funding. The startup is backed by investors like Y Combinator and Better Capital and also received investment from Flipkart’s Binny Bansal in its latest funding round.

The startups said they are together aiming to support over 25,000 students with relevant job opportunities in the next two to three years, with this acquisition.

“...we are really excited to become part of the Skill-Lync Group which shares a similar mission and approach towards learning, looking forward to scaling the impact together!," said Rathinamurthy R, Co-founder, Crio.

Founded in 2018 by Rathinamurthy R and Sridher Jeyachandran, Crio is an experiential learning platform for tech careers. It helps students and professionals to learn practical skills by working on real-world projects. The startup is also backed by Binny Bansal and other former Flipkart employees.

Competition intensifies in Higher edtech space

This comes at a time when its rivals in the upskilling and higher edtech space such as Ronnie Screwvala's upGrad, SoftBank-backed Eruditus, Tiger Global-backed Scaler, and Krishna Kumar’s Simplilearn are witnessing strong growth even as demand for online K-12 (kindergarten to class 12) sector is falling with the reopening of schools, colleges, and tuition centres.

Also Read: Edtechs focus on cutting monthly spends as demand, funding fall

Mayank Kumar, managing director and co-founder of upGrad, said during a Moneycontrol Masterclass in July that the higher education and upskilling space was counter-cyclical—during times of job losses and recessionary fears, learners tend to upskill.

Kumar seems to have a point as companies like upGrad, Scaler Academy, Eruditus and Masai School seem to have been less affected amid this slowdown.

Eruditus expects its FY23 (2022-23) booking revenue to double on a year-on-year basis, Damera said in a media interview in June. Kumar of upGrad had also said that he sees upGrad’s revenue growing 100 percent in FY22 (2021-22) and FY23.

Eruditus had earmarked $1 billion for mergers and acquisitions for 2022. The company also raised $350 million in overseas acquisition debt financing from the CPPIB (Canada Pension Plan Investment Board).

upGrad has also been on an acquisition spree. The company has acquired more than 13 companies since the start of 2022. It also doubled its valuation after raising $210 million in what was one of the largest funding rounds raised by Indian edtech companies in 2022.

Tiger Global-backed Scaler had also told Moneycontrol that it will be earmarking $50 million for mergers and acquisitions for FY23.

Scaler’s co-founder Abhimanyu Saxena said in an emailed response that the company’s annual revenue run rate (ARR) topped $110 million as of August 2022. The company also plans to hire 600 employees this year, it said.

The Kunal Shah-backed Masai School, meanwhile, said that it would add newer courses and expanding existing categories. Masai School recently raised $10 million in its Series B funding round led by Omidyar Network India and onboarded cricketer Mithali Raj and footballer Bhaichung Bhutia as strategic investors.

More recently, Higher edtech platform Simplilearn, promoted by private equity firm Blackstone, also raised $45 million in a new funding round led by GSV Ventures at an undisclosed valuation.

Invite your friends and family to sign up for MC Tech 3, our daily newsletter that breaks down the biggest tech and startup stories of the day

Mansi Verma
Mansi Verma
first published: Nov 21, 2022 10:59 am