Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank is reported to be in talks for investing $150 Mn-$200 Mn in Indian edtech platform Unacademy, at a pre-money valuation of $1.2 Bn.
Sources told MoneyControl that the investment talks were at an advanced stage. If the deal comes through, Unacademy would be elevated to the upper echelons of the Indian startup ecosystem. It would also become the newest entrant into the illustrious club of Indian unicorns — startups with a valuation of $1 Bn or more. Unacademy’s competitor in the edtech space, Byju’s is also a unicorn.
On July 7, Unacademy acquired PrepLadder, a postgraduate medical entrance exam preparation platform for $50Mn. Earlier this year, it acquired edtech startup Kreatryx to strengthen its presence in the GATE and ESE segments in the test prep market, and Mumbai-based competitive programming platform CodeChef.
The Indian edtech sector is one of the very few which actually witness a spurt in demand during the coronavirus lockdown. With schools and colleges shut for the last three months and for the foreseeable future, the focus has shifted to online learning platforms which could help students keep up with their studies while lockdown and quarantine measures remain in place.
Unacademy has learning videos from educators for school-level courses to college entrance exams across streams, also for competitive exams for entry into the civil services and MBA courses. The platform saw a 100% increase in its subscribers during this period, with the average daily watch time of educational videos on its platform also witnessing a 100% growth.
In February, the Sequoia-backed startup raised $110 Mn in a Series E funding round led by Facebook, General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital India, taking its valuation to $510 Mn. This was after the Bengaluru-headquartered company raised $50 Mn in June last year, in its Series D funding round led by Blume Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital India and Steadview Capital
Founded in 2015 by Gaurav Munjal, Hemesh Singh, Roman Saini and Sachin Gupta, Unacademy is one of the leading players in the Indian edtech market, estimated to be worth $1.96 Bn by 2021. According to Inc42 Datalabs, there were 3,500 edtech startups in India in 2018. Between 2014 to 2018, 182 edtech startups were funded with a total of $1.34 Bn.