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Edtech firm Unacademy raises $50 mn in Series D from Steadview, others

The online education firm said it is seeing unprecedented growth and engagement from learners in smaller towns and cities

Peerzada Abrar  |  Bengaluru 

E-learning, online education, online training

Unacademy, an online learning platform, has raised $50 million Series D funding round from Steadview Capital, Sequoia India, Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures. Aakrit Vaish, co-founder of tech firm Haptik and Sujeet Kumar, co-founder of business-to-business online marketplace Udaan also participated in the round, along with Unacademy founders, Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini.

“By leveraging technology and high-quality educators, we aim to move closer to our mission of democratising education at all levels, starting with test prep,” said Gaurav Munjal, co-founder and chief executive of Unacademy. “We are seeing unprecedented growth and engagement from learners in smaller towns and cities, and are also very humbled to see that top-quality educators are choosing Unacademy as their primary platform to reach out to students.”

The company now has more than 400 top educators from across the country taking live classes every day on Unacademy Plus. This is available to every student, irrespective of their location said the company.

Unacademy recently launched its Plus Subscription, and since its launch, more than 50,000 learners have subscribed to Unacademy Plus. The firm said this service is available for more than 20 exam categories and provides students unlimited access to live courses by top educators across the country. Learners get a personalised live learning experience that is augmented by doubt-clearing sessions with the educators, interactive classes and live test series. More than 600 live classes are conducted every day by the educators on Plus who teach from all across the country.

“Unacademy is a very meaningful ed-tech company in the making and Sequoia India is excited to invest significantly in this round," said Shailendra Singh, managing director, Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore. “We were thrilled with how rapidly Gaurav (Munjal) and the team converted some of our collective product brainstorming sessions into an amazing live-streaming product and a subscription business for the test prep market,” said Singh.

Unacademy was founded by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh in 2015. The firm said the platform empowers educators by making it easy for them to create high-quality educational lessons on the Educator App, that learners access via the Learning App. The platform currently has more than 10,000 registered educators and 13 million learners. The company had previously raised a Series C round of $21 million in July 2018 from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, and others. In October 2018, Unacademy acquired Jaipur-based and career portal Wifistudy, one of the fastest growing education YouTube channels in the world.

The company said it has the largest distribution for educational videos on its free platform and YouTube and Unacademy lessons have more than 100 million monthly views across these platforms. Unacademy’s YouTube channels currently have more than 11 million subscribers, according to the company.

The global market is projected to reach a total market size of $286.62 billion by 2023, increasing from $159.52 billion in 2017, according to the report titled ‘Global Market.’

In March this year, another company Byju’s raised an additional funding of $31 million in a financing round led by US-based growth equity investor General Atlantic (GA), along with Chinese internet giant Tencent. The investment took the valuation of Byju’s to over $5 billion, from $3.6 billion when it raised $540 million in a funding round led by South African conglomerate Naspers in December last year.

First Published: Wed, June 26 2019. 19:02 IST
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