Bengaluru-based edtech startup Unacademy has raised $21 Mn in Series C funding from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, and Nexus Venture Partners. Existing investors such as Blume Ventures also participated in this round. Unacademy is an online learning platform that empowers educators to create courses on various subjects.
Unacademy plans to use the funding to onboard new educators on the platform, penetrate deeper into categories including courses for pre-medical, GATE, and CAT, and further strengthen its core product and technology team.
Inc42 had earlier reported in June 2018 that Unacademy may raise $25-30 Mn in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital India and other investors at a valuation of around $100 Mn.
Gaurav Munjal, co-founder and CEO, Unacademy, said, “Right from the outset, we have focused on growing the platform by empowering the best educators. We have grown tremendously since our inception. Just last month, more than 3,000 educators were active on the platform and lessons created by them were watched more than 40 Mn times by learners.”
Unacademy was founded by Gaurav Munjal (ex-founder and CEO of Flatchat) along with Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh, and Sachin Gupta. It was initially launched as an educational YouTube channel in 2011 and then as a free learning platform named Unacademy in January 2016.
With a total funding of $38.6 Mn till date, Unacademy currently has 300,000 lessons, 3 Mn registered users and 14,000 educators.
On the investment, Shailendra Singh, managing director, Sequoia Capital (India), based in Singapore, said, “Sequoia India is thrilled to lead the new round in Unacademy, which is already making a big impact in India’s online learning space. Gaurav, Roman and Hemesh are driven founders with a very focused mission, and that has a clear effect on the pace of production innovation, team building and overall growth.”
In October 2017, Unacademy collaborated with its top educators launched ‘Plus’ courses on its platform with private discussion forums, live video classes, and a personalised classroom learning environment.
Currently, more than 30 educators conduct paid ‘Plus’ courses on the platform, apart from free lessons. Since the launch of Plus courses, the company claims to have achieved a 6x growth in its monthly revenue.
In the increasingly competitive edtech space, we have players such as BYJU’S, UCLID, Avagmah, Embibe, iProf, Simplilearn, Meritnation, Toppr, NeoStencil, and Englishleap, among others. With an eye on this potential market, edtech startups are making their presence felt in the $100 Bn Indian education sector, according to the IBEF.
Recently, ByJU’S gained the status of a unicorn when a funding infusion, including one by China’s Tencent and BCCL, valued the startup at $1 Bn (INR 6,505 Cr), according to its company filings with the ministry of corporate affairs.
According to a report by Google and KPMG of May 2017, the edtech market is expected to have a significant impact on the online education sector, which has a potential to touch $1.96 Bn by 2021 from $247 Mn at present.