Is CodeChef on it's way to become a paid platform?

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
Nov 07, 2020 7 min read
Is CodeChef on it's way to become a paid platform?

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by the organization it is based on.

CodeChef is an online platform that organizes algorithms, computer programming, and programming contests for programmers hosts programming competitions and contests for students and software professionals.

CodeChef, headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra also helps organizations connect with developers, brand their products in the developer community and recruit.

CodeChef - Company Highlights

Startup Name CodeChef
Type Subsidiary of Unacademy
Headquarters Mumbai, India
Industry Software
Founders Bhavin Turakhia
Founded September, 2009
Parent Company Directi
CEO Bhavin Turakhia
Website www.codechef.com

CodeChef - About and How it works?
CodeChef - Recent News
CodeChef - Logo and it's meaning
CodeChef - Founder and History
CodeChef - Mission
CodeChef - Business Model and Revenue Model
CodeChef - Competitors
CodeChef - Growth and Revenue
CodeChef - Future Plans

CodeChef - About and How it works?

CodeChef is a competitive programming community of programmers from across the globe. CodeChef was started as an educational initiative in the year 2009 by Directi, an Indian software company.

Apart from its monthly coding contests for the community, CodeChef has many initiatives for Schools, Colleges and Women in competitive programming. CodeChef is credited with hosting the India regionals of the prestigious ICPC for college students, as well as for IOI for school students in India. In 2020, CodeChef’s custodianship was changed from Directi (founded by Bhavin Turakhia) to Unacademy (Gaurav Munjal, CEO). CodeChef and its various initiatives have been managed and run by its Business Unit Head Anup Kalbalia.

It is a global programming community that fosters learning and friendly competition, built on top of the world’s largest competitive programming platform along with building a large community of problem curators. They host three featured contests every month and give away prizes and goodies to the winners as encouragement. Apart from this, the platform is open to the entire programming community to host their own contests. On an average, 30+ external contests are hosted on their platform every month. They also help organisations connect with developers, brand their products in the developer community and recruit. Presently the CodeChef community has grown to over 10,00,000+ programmers from different parts of the globe.

CodeChef - Recent News

Unacademy has announced the acquisition of CodeChef, in June 2020. The acquisition is likely to help the Facebook-backed firm to launch coding skills vertical for school kids.

While the size of the deal is undisclosed, it’s not clear how CodeChef will be positioned as it was not for a profit venture under its previous owner – Directi.

β€œCodechef is one of the best platforms in the world for programmers and their vision is aligned to what we do here at Unacademy Group,” said Gaurav Munjal, co-founder, and CEO of Unacademy while announcing the development on Twitter.

CodeChef being an eleven-year-old platform that helps programmers get a foothold in computer programming through active participation via contests, claims to have grown to over 10 lakh programmers globally.

β€œAll our existing programs, contests, etc. will continue to remain exactly as they are, and will only grow better in our new home. This change in custodianship will mean that we have access to greater resources, teams, technology, platforms, and capital,” said Anup Kalbalia, chief executive officer of CodeChef.

This is the second announcement from the Munjal-led company on Thursday. It appointed Sujeet Kumar as a board member. It’s worth noting that Directi and CodeChef’s founder, Bhavin Turakhia, is already a member of the board of directors of Unacademy since 2017.

CodeChef is the second acquisition by Unacademy in 2020. In March, it acquired Kreatryx, an online preparation platform for GATE and the Engineering Services Exam (ESE), in a cash plus stock deal.

Since the Covid-19 crisis has put a lock on educational institutions, ed-tech companies have been witnessing a surge in usages and adoption. Unacademy has also gained significantly due to fear of the spread of the virus. The company had claimed 82% revenue growth in April as compared to the previous month.

CodeChef - Logo and it's meaning

CodeChef's logo comes very much from the name of the company. Unacademy has announced the acquisition of CodeChef, an online platform for algorithm and coding. The acquisition is likely to help the Facebook-backed firm to launch coding skills vertical for school kids.

CodeChef's Logo
CodeChef's Logo

CodeChef - Founder and History

Bhavin Turakhia is the founder of CodeChef.

Bhavin Turakhia, Founder of CodeChef
Bhavin Turakhia, Founder of CodeChef

In the year 2009, Directi launched CodeChef to help programmers improve their problem-solving skills through active participation in programming contests. The goal was to help Indian programmers in honing their problem-solving skills by fostering friendly competition and community engagement.

In the year 2020, the custodianship of CodeChef was handed over to Unacademy from Directi. After the transition, CodeChef is led by Bhavin Turakhia, Gaurav Munjal, and Anup Kalbalia.


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CodeChef - Mission

CodeChef's mission is to provide a reliable, valid and fair method of assessing the skills and knowledge needed to become better programmers and develop a community of highly skilled certified professionals who are good problem solvers.

CodeChef - Business Model and Revenue Model

The CEO said that CodeChef's operations are entirely non-commercial. They do not make any revenue at CodeChef as it is a non-profit educational initiative. All of CodeChef's operations, technology, infrastructure and management costs were sponsored by Directi. Over time they intended to subsidize some of these costs through strategic partnerships with other companies as well.

CodeChef - Competitors

CodeChef's top 3 competitors are TopCoder, Inc., Services Sunrise Mentors Private Limited and LeetCode. Together they have raised over 16.5M between their estimated 416 employees. CodeChef's revenue is the ranked 3rd among it's top 10 competitors. The top 10 competitors average 10.1M. CodeChef has 28 employees and is ranked 3rd among it's top 10 competitors.


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CodeChef - Growth and Revenue

Bhavin Turakhia, the CEO of CodeChef said "All our existing programs, contests, etc. will continue to remain exactly as they are, and will only grow better in our new home. This change in custodianship will mean that we have access to greater resources, teams, technology, platforms, and capital.”

It indicates that the contests will always remain free, and we will always be a community-focused and community-driven organization.

Moreover, CodeChef is going to launch a new product, and that is a paid product. CodeChef started making revenue long before Unacademy came into the picture. They already had a certification program and corporate offerings before Unacademy took over the custodianship.

The Unacademy learning program is another method of said revenue-generation. However, there have been other free initiatives that CodeChef has launched after coming under the custodianship of Unacademy. They have already added 30+ video editorials to different problems. And all of this has been possible only because the company now have larger access to resources that this collaboration with Unacademy has provided CodeChef with.

CodeChef is no longer a not-for-profit, and have thus removed that phrase from the website’s footer, and the CEO said that it will subsequently, remove it from other parts as well. Again, to reiterate the CEO also said that each and every existing feature/initiative will continue to be free, and they will support all our programs as we have always done.


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CodeChef - Future Plans

CodeChef announced the Go for Gold Project in 2010. The goal of the Go for Gold Project is ambitious as the CEO said that "we want an Indian team to win the ICPC contest, one of the biggest competitive programming challenge in the world."

He also said that the change won't happen overnight, so their plan is to support learning and reward improvement. They're providing ongoing scholarship, incentives, promotion, tech assistance, and training for Indian students. With a little push to get started, their mission is to change the world Β and give Indian students little more exposure.

"We are committed to being completely transparent about our activities, motives, and finances. You will find details on our allocated budgets, the manner of our budget allocation, and a list of activities that we will conduct under the Go for Gold project this year" he said.
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