Global online higher education provider upGrad on Wednesday said it has earmarked $250 million for mergers and acquisitions (M&As) over the next seven-nine months, as it strengthens non-linear growth strategy.

upGrad is set to cross the $500 million annual revenue run rate by March 2022 and is looking to raise close to $400 million at a $4 billion valuation.

“Outside of cash, we see a very strong value currency in our stock to look to merge/acquire companies with exceptional founders who will join us as fellow entrepreneurs to build this out over the next decade,” said Ronnie Screwvala, Co-founder, and Chairman, upGrad.

Screwvala said that upGrad has identified specific segments as well as target companies, two of which will be announced over the next 60 days.

It includes a platform and high-touch digital learning experience that will add to what upGrad pioneered in the last 6 years and a global play in immersive short-form learning.

upGrad has built out a strong tech platform and deep immersive learning experience with high touch-points to capture close to 70 per cent of the Indian higher education market for working professionals.

This year, upGrad went out for their maiden to fundraise with Temasek and IFC and closed a cumulative $160 million raise.

The company said last month that it will onboard 1,000 employees in the next three months in India from more than 100 campuses, including Metros and tier 2 and 3 cities, as the pandemic hits the job market in the country.

It has also strengthened its senior leadership teams in the UK and the US.

In the UK, Tom Atkinson joins as the VP for sales and partnerships and Octave Auger as the VP for growth, while Aaron Edgell joins as VP of marketing in North America.

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