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WaterBridge Ventures Exits Edtech Startup Unacademy With 150% Internal Returns

WaterBridge Ventures Exits Edtech Startup Unacademy With 150% Internal Returns

WaterBridge Ventures is exiting with five times returns of its investment in the company

The Venture Capital firm invested $1 Mn in Unacademy in 2016

Unacademy recently raised $21 Mn from Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners and Nexus Venture Partners

As the Indian startup ecosystem witnesses next level of growth with old investors marking exit to welcome new investors in the ecosystem, Bengaluru-based edtech startup Unacademy continues to level up its game as one of its oldest backers— venture Capital firm WaterBridge Ventures— has decided to move on from the company.

WaterBridge Ventures is exiting with nearly 150% internal returns and five times its investment in the company.

The development comes after Unacademy raised $21 Mn from three top venture capital investment firms — Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners and Nexus Venture Partners — bought a stake in the startup.

WaterBridge Ventures, which primarily participates in the seed to Series A segment, had invested $1 Mn in Unacademy in 2016 — the first investment from its maiden fund, the $30 Mn WaterBridge Ventures Fund-I.

“Given Unacademy was the first investment from the fund, and an opportunity to lock-in attractive returns, we decided to exit through a secondary sale. We’re confident that Unacademy’s stellar journey of growth will continue with highly supportive investors such as Sequoia, SAIF and Nexus,” Manish Kheterpal, managing partner at WaterBridge Ventures told ET.

The Venture Capital firm is believed to have held about a shade less than 5% stake in Unacademy, which is now valued at $100 Mn.

Unacademy: Educating India

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.

According to founder Gaurav Munjal, Unacademy lessons were watched more than 25 Mn times in March 2018. It is also one of the largest education channels on YouTube India with over 2 Mn subscribers.

In October 2017, Unacademy collaborated with its top educators and 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.

Indian Edtech Industry

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.

Here’s a quick look into other major players in the edtech segment:

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.

[The development was reported by ET.]