upGrad’s Marketing Strategy | Acquisitions & Collaboration to Grow so Fast

Sourav Dey Sourav Dey
Dec 10, 2021 5 min read
upGrad’s Marketing Strategy | Acquisitions & Collaboration to Grow so Fast

Why pay for online courses when you can get them for free? upGrad is such a company that brought out its online education application where students, teachers and everyone else can do courses for free. upGrad's free courses offer makes it a standout application from other educational websites.

Most websites and applications that you find on the internet do not come free of cost. upGrad is quite opposite to that and that is one of the reasons why it attracted a lot of customers. Competitions are tight in the Indian market and upGrad’s marketing strategy helped them take the lead in the online education platform.

What Is upGrad?
upGrad Marketing Strategy
upGrad Acquisitions and Collaborations
upGrad Future Plans

What Is upGrad?

upGrad is an EdTech company that came out with the motive to help students with their higher education. The company performs its business completely online based and free of cost. The application also caters to large variety of courses ranging from undergraduate programs to Master’s degree programs.

Master’s degrees and some post-graduate programs are only offered on a fee payment system. Otherwise, most courses are free of cost and are also offering a completion certificate unlike other educational applications in the market.

It was in the year 2015 when upGrad was launched by the co-founders of the company- Ronnie Screwvala, Phalgun  Kompalli, Mayank Kumar, and Ravijot Chugh. Their efforts made upGrad become one of the leading EdTech companies in Asia. Currently, all co-founders of the company are leading different divisions within the organization. Their efforts made it to enter the unicorn club in August, 2021.

Interestingly, upGrad was not meant to be for college students, or school students or any other institutions. But, it was designed so that more people could be familiar with the term ‘entrepreneurship’ and all those things that are required to become successful.

about upGrad learning platform

upGrad Marketing Strategy

upGrad Logo
upGrad Logo

upGrad is a B2C company and follows a wide range of marketing strategies. The company also focuses on its marketing because it is the only way a company is recognized. Well, a company like upGrad does the same thing.

The CEO of upGrad, Arjun Mohan had even mentioned in an interview that the company spends a whopping sum of money on its advertisements. The company also uses online tools for marketing its products to customers. Some of the most common ones are Google Ads, Social Media Ads, promotional guest posts, and many more.

Back in the year 2020, when the company was just 5 years old had set a budget of INR 175 crore for its marketing. For a startup like upGrad, this amount is considered to be a massive one and surprising too.

Other than spending a large amount on advertising, upGrad also focussed on promotional activities. The company took an active part in promoting its business during the 2020 IPL season. Even in the latest IPL season, i.e. 2021 upGrad took an effective part in its promotional activities.

The company tied up with Disney+ Hotstar and associated with the Star Sports network. This again became a huge boost in the company’s marketing and promotional activities. Surprisingly, the 2021 IPL event became upGrad’s first association with any sport-related event.

Business Model of UpGrad | How does upGrad make money
UpGrad is India’s largest online higher education platform which has witnessed massive growth in the pandemic. Lets find what’s unique about its business model.

upGrad Acquisitions and Collaborations

A company that is not more than 6 years old quite surprised its competitors by making acquisitions. This was a huge achievement for the company because the acquisitions that they made were notable ones.

upGrad acquired Pyoopil Education Technologies only a year after its formation i.e. in 2016. Pyoopil Education Technologies was a mobile-based SaaS product that was used by corporate. Two years later in the year 2018, upGrad made another acquisition of Acadview Software which was in the field of a college education.

Later, in the year 2019, the company acquired CohortPlus which was known to be India’s largest product management community startup. Looking at the progress that the company has already made it is clear that the company will become the leader in the TechEd companies in the world.

Moreover, the company has got notable connections and tie-ups with large institutes and universities. Some of the most famous collaborations are mentioned below.

  • Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS)
  • International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT)
  • MICA
  • Duke Corporate Education (Duke CE)
  • HDFC Life (For insurance courses)
  • IIT Madras (For courses related to machine learning and cloud)
  • Cambridge Judge Business School
  • Institute of Management Technology (IMT Ghaziabad)

List of All the Subsidiaries and Acquisitions of UpGrad
upGrad is an education platform that has witnessed substantial growth in India. Let’s find out Subsidiaries and Acquisitions of UpGrad that made it successful

upGrad Future Plans

Though there are not many revelations from the company’s side of view it is expected that by the end of 2025, the company plans to cross the 5 million alumni members mark. However, other than that, the company is working on other specialization programs curated by global universities.

With collaborations with global universities, upGrad would become a different and standout educational company in the Indian market. There will be a lot coming from the company’s point of view in the future and we hope to experience the brilliance of learning from upGrad.

How Artificial Intelligence has Revolutionized Marketing
Artificial intelligence has proved in many ways that its better than traditional marketing. So, Lets take a look How it has Revolutionized Marketing?


upGrad’s products and services are likely to improve and enhance better learning to its customers in the upcoming days. It is not that the company is not doing great currently but the future of the company will determine upGrad’s sustainability in the market.


Who has founded upGrad?

upGrad was founded by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, Phalgun Kompalli, and Ravijot Chugh in 2015.

Are there free courses available at upGrad?

Yes, there are free courses which can be done free of cost. The company caters to courses ranging from various subject areas.

Does upGrad provide a 100% job guarantee?

Yes, the company offers a 100% job guarantee to fresher candidates and other people as well.

Who are the Top Competitors of upGrad?

Some of the top competitors of upGrad are:

  • Coursera
  • Byju's
  • Edureka
  • Simplilearn
  • Unacademy

Must have tools for startups - Recommended by StartupTalky

Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to StartupTalky.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to StartupTalky.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.