Adstech startup Simpililarin, headquartered in Blackstone Bangalore and San Francisco, is taking a lion’s share of the $250 million. Simplifier runs an online boot camp to help people learn data science, AI, machine learning, cloud computing, and other skills as per the market demand. The startup has partnerships with several universities and colleges, including ITI Kanpur, Caltech, and Purdue University, and students who enroll in and complete these courses receive a certificate from one of these institutes.
The 11-year-old startup, which conducts 1,000 live classes per month, says it has helped 2 million professionals across 150 million countries and 2,000 companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon. The startup, which was last identified as $ 80 million in the 2016 Series C funding round, counts Brand Capital, Calari Capital, Helion Venture Partners, and Mayfield among its early supporters. According to insight platform Traxon, it raised about $34.4 million before today’s deal.
Callari Capital, Helion Venture Partners, and Mayfield Funds have exited as part of the new transaction but Simpililaron’s leadership team has not been able to sell their spot, according to someone familiar with the matter. “The epidemic has only accelerated the need for digital skills and the industry has shown the perfect preparation for online upselling. Therefore, now is the right time to take the next big leap in our journey to become the world’s largest digital skills company,” said Krishna Kumar, founder, and CEO of Simplifier.
“We believe that Blackstone can add significant value due to their company scale, business creation commitment, and global network, which will enable Simplifier to build partnerships with businesses and universities while continuing to expand globally.” The Blackstone-backed Sky Education Services, which operates coaching centers across the country, comes just months after its acquisition of Baiju – India’s most valuable startup – nearly $1 billion. Blackstone has also made an investment in Baiju ever since.
Amit Dixit, head of Asia for Blackstone, said in a statement, “This is Blackstone’s first private equity investment in Asia in a consumer technology company.  We are keen to partner with Krishna Kumar and Simpiliarn’s top management team to accelerate development and build the world’s leading digital education institution, and we hope this will be the first of many such investments in Asia.”