The Indian startup ecosystem has shown promising growth in 2021. 12 startups have got unicorn status within four months. Among startups, three sectors are in major demand: fintech, edtech, and social networks. Today, we are going to discuss the edtech startup environment.
When we say edtech startups, automatically two names come to our mind. That is Unacademy and Byju’s. They both have shown exponential growth in their operations recently. Vedantu was also trying to compete with these two edtech start-ups, but it is lost somewhere.
Currently, it will be right to say that the Indian edtech sector is moving towards a duopoly of Byju’s and Unacademy. Let’s discuss some key points related to their duopoly or growth in the last 2 years.
A Humble Beginning by Byju’s and Unacademy
Unacademy started its journey as a YouTube channel to provide free videos to its subscribers in 2010. Officially, it was launched in 2015. Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh are the co-founders of Unacademy. Currently, Gaurav Munjal is working as the CEO of Unacademy.
On the other hand, Byju’s is a startup co-founded and run by Byju Raveendran and his wife. Both are teachers by profession and still take classes on Byju’s platform. The startup was born in 2009 when Byju started coaching classes for CAT. In 2011, he registered Byju’s as a company and targeted the k-12 section.
In 2013, he got funding for his startup and launched a tablet learning platform. Finally, byju’s app was launched in 2015. From that time, there is no turning back.
Funding Raise by Byju’s and Unacademy
If you want growth, funding matters. Among these two key players, Byju’s understood this very well. In different funding rounds, Byju’s has raised more than $3 billion. These fundings helped Byju’s to grow geographically as well as in offerings. Currently, Byju’s has a market cap of over $16.5 billion. As per reports, it is the most valuable edtech startup in the world. recently, it also crossed the valuation of Paytm to become the most valuable startup in India.
Unacademy focussed more on its growth compared to financial rounds. The startup got unicorn status in 2020. With more than half a billion in funding, the Unacademy market cap has crossed $2 billion+ valuation.
Acquisition Race Between Byju’s and Unacademy
In 2020, Byju’s surprised everyone when it acquired White Hat Jr. with a hefty amount. But that was just a trailer. In 2021, Byju’s completed one of the biggest acquisition deals when it acquired Aakash Coaching Insititute with a whopping deal of $1 billion. These are two major acquisitions by Byju’s.
In other acquisition deals, Byju’s acquired other edtech firms including Vidyartha, TutorVista, Edurite, LabinApp, Osmo, and others.
Though Unacademy is not as strong as Byju’s In terms of finances. But it did not stop the startup from acquiring the edtech firms. Recently, Unacademy acquired Handa ka Funda. Before that, it acquired so many rising startups including Eduservices, Wifi Study, Kreatryx, CodeChef, PrepLadder, Mastree, Coursavy, and others.
These acquisitions prove that all rising and major edtech startups are either acquired by Unacademy or Byju’s.
The Future Plans of Unacademy and Byju’s
When asked about Unacademy’s competition with Byju’s, Unacademy CEO clearly denied it. He said:
“Our current goal is to compete with Netflix,” said Gaurav, adding, “Netflix today is bigger than Reliance. It is a $200 billion company. In edtech, the market is big in India and globally. We have a very audacious goal, which is 200X of what we are doing.”
On the other hand, Byju’s is going global. Recently, the startup has started its operations in Australia, the US, and Latin America.
Talking about the possibility of an IPO, Raveendran said:
“We are seriously thinking of an 18-24 months timeline to look at a public offering. But it can take a bit longer since we are in no hurry and will look at the right market timing.”
Current Status of Byju’s and Unacademy
Unacademy has a strong presence in 5000+ cities of India. Over 40 million learners are coming to the Unacademy platform to learn different skills. 49000+ educators are helping the users in 12 different languages to acquire different skills. Recently, Sachin Tendulkar joined Unacademy as an educator and brand ambassador.
Byju’s have 80 million+ users on its platform. It has a huge network of subscribers and teachers. The K-12 section is the specialty of Byju’s. It is teaching math and coding in other countries including the US, Australia. Shahrukh Khan is the brand ambassador of Byju’s platform.
The above details clearly show that the Indian edtech startup is mainly controlled by Byju’s and Unacademy. In the future, it will be interesting to see how things change. Will these two players continue ruling the edtech ecosystem? Or someone will stop them? Only time will tell. Keep reading NBB for such interesting case studies and the latest news from the business world.