Technology advancement and covid pandemic have changed the education system a lot. Covid pandemic has forced schools and colleges to accept different technologies for educational purposes. Because of lockdown, most of the educational institutes’ teaching-learning is going on online through apps like google meets, zoom, and Microsoft teams.
Edtech platforms like Byju’s, Vedantu have already started e-learning from the beginning of the second decade of 2020. These coaching institutes are adopting the current technologies in the right manner. They have brought a big change in the education system of India. These Edtech platforms have come a long way from the boring coaching hours in selective cities to the 24/7 online interactive study from anywhere in the world.
Unacademy is one of such online platforms that started its journey as a youtube channel and now has become an Indian Edtech unicorn. It helps students to excel in academics as well as to crack competitive examinations.
In the year 2010, Gaurav Munjal(Founder and CEO of Unacademy) started an educational channel over youtube with the name Unacademy. Soon after the success of Unacademy’s youtube channel, Gaurav thought to monetize it. To focus solely on Unacademy, Gaurav sold his first company FlatChat in 2014. FlatChat was a real estate platform to avail roommates and flats for college students and bachelors at affordable prices. FlatChat was acquired by CommonFloor.
Unacademy was officially launched in 2015. It is a Bangalore based Edtech platform founded by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, and Himesh Singh. Roman, a professional doctor and an IAS from the 2013 batch left the administrative services to teach in Unacademy. He realized that more than 75% of IAS aspirants cannot afford the coaching classes. He joined Gaurav to help underprivileged students and became a chief educator in the startup. Himesh Singh was also a part of FlatChat with Gaurav and he took the same position of Chief Technical Officer in Unacademy as well.
The company offers online lectures for various competitive exams like GATE/NET, NEET, CAT, IIT, Railways, Bank Officers, UPSC, etc. As per the business Today report, The company has a network of over 10,000 Educators, 13 million learners, and subscriptions for over 30+ exam categories.
Funding, Acquisitions, and Growth
Unacademy started its seed funding journey in 2016 with $500k. Rajan Anandan, Sumit Jain, and Blume Ventures were major names among the investors. In between 2017-2019, it raised $87 Million funding through different stages of series A to series D with the help of Blume Ventures, Steadview Capital, Sequoia Capital India, Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, Sujeet Kumar, and others.
The year 2020 was a boon for Edtech platforms. Indian Edtech startups raised $2.22 Billion investment in 2020. Out of that amount, Unacademy raised $110 Million in Feb 2020 from social media giant Facebook. In September 2020, Japan’s SoftBank Vision Fund helped Unacademy to raise a fund of $150 M. The undisclosed amount of funding from Tiger global in November 2020 makes its valuation $2 Billion.
Wifi Study, an online exam preparation platform, was acquired by Unacademy in 2018 with an amount of $10 Million. In 2020, it has acquired so many companies like Codechef (programming platform), Kreatryx(GATE preparation platform), Prepladder(Medical Entrance Platform), Mastree(kids platform), and Coursavy(UPSC preparation platform).
Other than funding, valuation, and acquisition success, Unacademy also became one of the central sponsors of IPL for the 3 years term.
Since most of the students are facing financial issues in 2020 so Unacademy made its platform free till March 31 for UPSC, banking, and railways competitive classes. Not only that, but they also invited all Indian educational institutions to use their platform for online classes freely till August 2020.
Unacademy has a plan to achieve around $300 Million annual recurring revenue(ARR) in the coming years which will be 10 times from the current ARR of USD 30 Million.
Unacademy is India’s largest learning platform with more than 20k registered educators and around 18 million learners.
As per co-founder and CEO of Unacademy Gaurav Munjal’s tweet “Our goal always has been to democratize knowledge and make it more affordable and accessible by getting the best experts of the world to help everyone achieve their goals. We are just getting started,”
They have plans to start online courses for Kerala, Maharashtra, and other states’ civil service exams. Currently, they are providing 32 exams related lectures and online classes. In the next two years, they plan to add 40 more online classes for different competitive examinations. Like Byju’s, they are also planning to start K-12 segment coaching.