In February of 2016, Vinci Partners invested USD 60.5 million in Vitru, a Brazil-based digital education group focused on the post-secondary market. Vitru operates its 904 hubs under the Uniasselvi brand and employs more than 3,000 tutors.
With Vinci’s support, Vitru was able to increase its footprint across Brazil and increase from 48 hubs in 2016 to 904 hubs as of September 2021. While COVID-19 forced Vitru to adjust its model — including moving its hubs into online formats, Vitru’s student base grew from 240,000 students to 309,000 just between 2019 and 2020.
In 2018, Neuberger Berman acquired 25% of Uniasselvi for USD100 million, which reduced Vinci’s holding to 37%. While Vinci’s stake in Vitru was further reduced to 27% in the IPO process, it remains a controlling shareholder in partnership with Carlyle.
In April 2021, Vitru announced its intent to use part of its IPO proceeds to merge with Unicesumar, another leading distance learning provider. The combined entity will operate under the Vitru platform and transform the company into the second largest digital education player in Brazil in terms of the number of students.