Blackstone to acquire majority stake in top upskilling ed-tech firm Simplilearn

Three months sealing India’s ed-tech deal by selling Aakash Educational Services to Byju’s for around $1 billion, Blackstone is poised to make a fresh bet in the burgeoning segment.

The global private equity giant has entered final stage negotiations to acquire a majority stake in Simplilearn, a leading online learning bootcamp for digital skills training, multiple industry sources with knowledge of the matter told Moneycontrol.

Based in San Francisco, United States and Bengaluru, India, Simplilearn is backed by Kalaari Capital, Helion Venture Partners, and Mayfield Fund.

“Blackstone will acquire a controlling stake in Simplilearn in a transaction which gives the combined firm an enterprise value of $350 million. An official announcement is expected shortly,” said one of the individuals cited above.

“The investors Kallari Capital, Helion Ventures, and Mayfield will make a complete exit as part of the deal. The founder and CEO Krishna Kumar is not exiting and will stay on,” a second individual told Moneycontrol.

According to the shareholding pattern of Simplilearn, Kalaari, Helion, and Mayfield hold a combined stake of 57 percent.

“In partnership with Blackstone which has expertise in the ed-tech segment, Kumar is looking forward to building the firm as the world’s largest digital skilling company,” said a third individual.

“Many new themes are emerging in the education segment and Blackstone sees vocational training as an area of growth. It’s in vogue now with the focus on digital skills for professionals post COVID-19,” added a third individual.