A traction market fit is the right combination of a traction channel and a traction product, which will scale, Munjal said
At its core, Unacademy offers test prep material, but the startup is continuously revamping its offerings and now hosts Graphy and Relevel, alongside done a number of acquisitions in several edtech verticals
Creating traction, Unacademy recently also ventured into offline stores, where users will be able to have a walk-in experience of Unacademy products
On Day 2 of The Makers’ Summit 2022, Unacademy cofounder & CEO Gaurav Munjal talked about the aspects that startups need to keep in mind while building their products.
Out of the seven points listed by Munjal, he emphasised on moving beyond achieving a product-market fit (PMF) and seeking to get closer to a traction-market fit (TMF).
He said that entrepreneurs need to be obsessed over TMF, as much as the PMF because even if you have a product that is fit for the market, traction for the product keeps on changing at the different stages of the product life cycle.
“Sometimes people invent good products, but their inability to market them, to position them, restricts them from reaching the desired audience. Eventually, these products fail. A traction market fit is the right combination of a traction channel and a traction product, which will scale,” Munjal said.
Giving the example of Unacademy’s humble beginnings as a YouTube channel providing free courses, Munjal emphasised that they had a great product and great traction. When the monetisation of the product started, they saw the problem of learners wanting to take classes from multiple teachers. Hence, Unacademy pivoted to a freemium subscription model instead of pay per course, allowing the traction to stay seamless.
He emphasised on how Apple creates traction through its events for the launch of new phones, iPads and AirPods.
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“Yes, Apple has the best products, but Apple also has the best marketing strategy. If you crack the best product-market fit but do not crack the traction market fit, you will fail,” Munjal said.
Unacademy’s PMF & TMF
Founded in 2015 by Munjal, Hemesh Singh and Roman Saini, Unacademy claims to have more than 50,000 registered educators and more than 62 Mn learners. It offers learning in 14 languages across 5,000 cities.
The startup reported a loss of INR 1,537.4 Cr in FY21 up from INR 258.6 Cr in FY20. Pivoting its product-market fit and traction market fit, Unacademy has forayed into the US with its medical test preparation courses, Inc42 had exclusively reported.
Unacademy also launched Unacademy Stores, where users will be able to have a walk-in experience via demos i.e how Unacademy teaches and students, as well as parents, will get counselling sessions.
At its core, Unacademy offers test prep material for IIT-JEE, UPSC, SSC, NEET, and GATE, among others. But, the entrance exams-focussed learning platform has been aggressively building its presence across new categories and exploring international expansion.
It hosts platforms such as Graphy (for content creators to monetise and turn their skills into teachable content) and Relevel (for job seekers to acquire and boast skills).
As a part of the expansion strategy, Unacademy also acquired five startups in 2021 — CBSE & ICSE-centred online tuitions for K-10 classes, Swiflearn, creator-focussed edtech platform Spayee, game streaming startup Rheo TV, networking and recruitment platform TapChief and CAT and MBA preparation platform Handa Ka Funda.
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