Monday, April 19

Unacademy raises fresh funds at $2 bn valuation

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Edtech unicorn Unacademy Wednesday said it has raised funds from US-based Tiger Global Management and Dragoneer Investment Group at a valuation of $2 billion.

The company did not disclose the funding amount, but a person familiar with the matter said it was $60-80 million.

The company had last raised $150 million in September in a funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, trebling its valuation to $1.45 billion in a span of six months, making it the second-most valued edtech startup after larger rival Byju’s. Previously in February, it had raised $110 million from Facebook Inc., General Atlantic and Sequoia at a valuation of $510 million.

The pandemic has accelerated the pace of fund-raising and growth of edtech startups, as educational institutions and offline classes were disrupted and learning moved online. Both global and domestic investors continue to bet big on these companies, fuelling valuations.

“Our mission from Day One has been to democratise education and make it more affordable and accessible. We have consistently built the most iconic products that deliver high quality education to everyone. Today, I’m delighted to welcome Tiger Global and Dragoneer as our partners in the journey. They are both marquee global investors with a history of partnering with innovative companies that are making an impact on people’s lives,” Gaurav Munjal, co-founder and CEO, Unacademy said in a statement.

Byju’s is also close to raising $200 million in a fresh funding round from US investment firms BlackRock and T. Rowe Price at a valuation of $12 billion, Mint reported earlier this week.

Founded five years ago by Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh, Unacademy offers test preparation classes from civil service and banking exams to programming languages. It has over 47,000 educators teaching in over 14 Indian languages, and users across 5,000 cities.

Over 150,000 live classes are conducted on the platform each month and the monthly collective watch time is over 2 billion minutes.

Munjal had earlier said that in the July-September period, the startup had recorded a 100% increase in its paid subscriber base, with the average daily watch time across Unacademy platforms also witnessing a 100% increase.

“The opportunity to improve lives through online education is enormous because of its sheer accessibility. The Unacademy team has innovated rapidly to build a leading platform that is taking education to the farthest corners of India. We are very excited to partner with Unacademy and look forward to seeing it scale further,” said Scott Shleifer, partner at Tiger Global.

In March, Unacademy acquired Kreatryx (an online preparation platform for GATE and the Engineering Services Exam). In July, it had acquired Mastree, a leading K12 learning platform.and Chandigarh-based PrepLadder, a postgraduate medical entrance exam preparation platform, for $50 million, which will strengthen its presence in the medical entrance categories.

“I want to make Unacademy the largest consumer internet company out of India.. that will be an ed tech and not e-commerce,” Munjal had told Mint in September.