On July 8, the online education platform Unacademy announced that it had acquired a Chandigarh-based EduTech startup, PrepLadder, for $50 million including cash and stock.
PrepLadder is the fourth such acquisition by Unacademy in less than two years, the other three start-ups being Wifistudy – an online education platform for the preparation for government exams, CodeChef – a competitive coding platform, and Kreatryx – an online education platform for GATE Coaching.
Unacademy was founded in 2015 by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh as a common platform for different educators and learners. It was supposed to be an online platform where educators would offer online videos and interactive classes of over 30 exam types. Today, Unacademy is valued at $510 million after the latest Series E round of funding held in February 2020 and led by Facebook and General Atlantic.
Watch: Unacademy – Live – Roman Saini and Gaurav Munjal
Additionally, the Unacademy platform commands a collection of over a million videos and over 10,000 educators, of which about 70% are from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Gaurav Munjal, co-founder, and CEO of Unacademy has spoken of the platform’s ethos:
“Our goal from day one has been to democratize education and make quality education accessible to everyone.”Gaurav Munjal, CEO of Unacademy
Unacademy does that by roping in the best educators and content to its platform and ensuring access at scale, having made inroads across the country. Statistics illustrate their exploits.
In February of this year, Unacademy raised a record of $110 million in the Series E funding round led by Facebook and General Atlantic, with General Atlantic making the bulk of the investment. Some other big names, with not so big contributions, were also involved:
- Nexus Venture Partners
- Steadview Capitals
- Blume Ventures
- Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy
- Udaan Co-founder Sujeet Kumar
These extraordinary numbers pushed Unacademy’s value to over $500 million. On being asked about the decision to fund Unacademy, the Vice President of Facebook India, Ajit Mohin said, “Facebook is an ally for India’s economic growth and social development, and we are excited about India and its rapidly rising internet ecosystem. With this investment in Unacademy, we are reinforcing our commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem, as well as investing in a company that is transforming learning in India. We love that the company is fundamentally democratizing education and driving innovation in new learning models.”
Within a year of monetizing, Unacademy increased its revenue more than 9 times from Rs 2 Crore in the first month to around Rs 19 Crore, as reported by Gaurav Munjal in February 2020.
In less than two years, Unacademy has acquired four EduTech startups which itself speaks a lot about their aggressive positioning in the market. Having acquired a popular Medical Entrance training start-up, Unacademy automatically acquired lakhs of potential users. The 85,000 existing medical students coming in from PrepLadder, add to the growing list of Unacademy’s existing 100,000 users.
According to Unacademy, “The acquisition is part of its inorganic growth strategy. Bringing PrepLadder on board will play a strategic role for our platform in the medical entrance examinations category.
What does the future hold?
“The exponential growth in Unacademy’s subscriber base is a testament to the increasing demand for quality online education and our consistent efforts.”Gaurav Munjal after acquiring PrepLadder
With the current trend of growth and untapped potential for EduTech business in rural and sub-urban India, Unacademy seems to be on its way to competing with the behemoths of the industry. With a fluid acquisition policy that focuses on diversifying expertise, a successful Youtube channel with over 150 million views, and an identified market for growth in Tier 1 and 2 cities; Unacademy is arguably the rising star of EduTech in India.