Online Education Startup Simplilearn Acquires US Based MarketMotive

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Sometimes, even being the 11th fastest growing startup in India or training over 400,000 professionals across 150+ countries, led by 2,000+ qualified trainers, falls short of set expectations. And that’s when it’s time for entry into new markets and expansions. Where there have been lots of foreign companies buying desi startups, there are a few homegrown players who have made India proud by acquiring international firms and growing far and beyond. One such, fresh out of the money box is, Simplilearn, the leading global tech-ed startup from Bangalore, acquiring Market Motive, a Silicon Vally based startup offering training & certification in Digital Marketing.

Simplilearn has so far raised $27 million in total and has planned to expand its market presence in developed economies. The $10 million acquisition of MarketMotive, by Simplilearn clearly indicates how promising the future of online education is. Founded by Google’s Digital Marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik, Michael Stebbins and John Marshall in 2007, Market Motive has so far helped more than 400,000 professionals in over 150 countries to advance their career in the Digital Marketing space. This would help Simplilearn to gain the otherwise less accessible market knowledge and expand its operations in the US market rapidly.

Speaking on the acquisition deal, Krishna Kumar, Founder & CEO – Simplilearn, said, “Our focus continues to provide a wide range of short-term certification-based courses that have a direct impact on the learners’ career. The digital marketing ecosystem is at the tipping point and this is the right time for us to expand our products into this sought-after segment. We are impressed with Market Motive’s enriched content and domain expertise backed by industry experts apart from their approach towards online training, which fits strongly with our business strategy. We are excited about this opportunity to help and drive profitable growth, thus further enhancing value for Market Motive’s and Simplilearn’s customers.”

The eLearning Industry:

With the global eLearning Market expected to reach $107 billion by 2015, revenues from self-paced eLearning are estimated to reach $49.9 billion by the end of this year. India with 55% growth rate, China at 52% and Malaysia at 41% are identified as the fastest growing markets.


With more than 3.5 billion internet users worldwide and 2 billion internet users on social media, organizations have started focusing more on the internet with a significant market budget allotted. And, as professionals are willing to upgrade their skills more often than before, startups such as Simplilearn, offering online certifications and courses have found the market more favorable now. Using acquisition or merger synergies to strengthen their market presence, is more preferred by startups than invading new markets with a little knowledge and struggling to get a foothold.

M&A Trends:

According to a recent report by Deloitte, 25 percent more companies expect to go the M&A route to divest and 85% indicated that their deals involved acquiring companies to expand into foreign markets, up from 73% last year. It also suggested that relative valuations and a strong dollar would tend to present greater opportunities for companies to help expand their footprint in new overseas markets.

Scope of Digital Marketing Training:

Where the global digital advertising spend is projected to reach $278 billion in 2019, the buyout of Motion Motive, which already has an impressive catalog of over 250 online courses across industries and functions, including the ones in Digital Advertising, Web Analytics, Social Media Marketing and Marketing Automation, is certainly of a great advantage for Simplilearn.  This could help Simplilearn offer a turnkey solution to working professionals and college graduates in the American sub-continent, wishing to advance in their careers.

Below is a recent interview of Krishna Kumar, talking about the eLearning Industry growth, challenges, and future prospects.


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