Unacademy - Learning Platform Designed for Competitive Examinations

Himaya Presthitha Himaya Presthitha
Jan 20, 2021 7 min read
Unacademy - Learning Platform Designed for Competitive Examinations

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Classroom learning is seen as a hindrance by many to discover new things, and a lot of students are unnoticed and fail to explore the world around them with this lack of opportunity. Many students in remote places are unaware of the existing methodologies to crack various examinations. Unacademy unscrambles these problems with its online learning platform with top educators in the country. The company offers courses and lectures for several competitive examinations such as CAT, JEE, NEET, CLAT, UPSC CSE/IAS, IBPS/SBI, RRB, and video classes on various subjects, thus empowering the students to excel in this competitive world.

Unacademy is now valued at $4.5 Billion, after acquiring Coursavy for undisclosed value and enters Unicorn Club by raising funding of $150 Million led by Softbank.

Unacademy – Company Highlights

Startup Name Unacademy
Headquarters Bangalore,Karnataka
Sector EdTech
Founders Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh
Founded 2015
Parent Organization Sorting Hat Technologies Private Limited
Total Funding $348.5 Million
Revenue/Turnover INR 86 Cr (FY20)
Net profit/Net Loss Loss INR 300 Cr (FY20)
Valuation $4.5 Billion (September 2020)
Website www.unacademy.com

Unacademy - About
Unacademy - Founders and Team
Unacademy - Name, Tagline, and Logo
Unacademy - Vision and Mission
Unacademy - Educators
Unacademy - Growth and Revenue
Unacademy - Funding and Investors
Unacademy - Acquisitions
Unacademy - Business and Revenue Model
Unacademy - Competitors
Unacademy - Future Plans

Unacademy - About

Unacademy is an online platform that makes both learning and teaching easy with its educational videos and lectures. Initially it was founded in the year 2010 with videos streaming on YouTube, but it officially got launched in the year 2015.

Today, the company has achieved spectacular growth with more than 10K educators and around 13 Million users. Numerous platforms of Unacademy includes Unacademy Plus, Chamomile Tea with Toppers, Wifistudy, The Solutionists, and Unacademy Studios, with which they acquire nearly 110 Million views every month. The learning app is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows and can be easily accessed.

Unacademy - Founders and Team

Unacademy was founded by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh as an educational channel in 2010 which turned out to be a successful startup in 2015.

Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh, and Sachin Gupta
Unacademy Founders and team

Gaurav, the CEO of Unacademy sold his first company FlatChat, to CommonFloor in 2014 and is currently developing Unacademy. Roman Saini who is a doctor from AIIMS, cleared the Civil Service Exam in 2013. He quit his administrative roles and is now the Chief Educator of Unacademy. Hemesh Singh is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Unacademy, who was also the CTO of FlatChat formerly. The company now operates with around 1572 employees and yields a market price of $400 Million, building a strong community of technology-driven self-learners.

The name Unacademy[Un (Not)- Academy] states that this learning platform differs from the conventional methods of education, unlike an institution or academy which is accessible to everyone. “India’s largest learning platform” is the tagline of the company.

Unacademy Logo

Unacademy - Vision and Mission

Unacademy’s vision is to build numerous courses in multiple languages for students all over the world. Expanding its educators with their students, Unacademy aims to collaborate with the brightest minds and empower India’s youth population that accounts for 19% of the world’s youth, to bring oneself in this contemporary world. 70% of its learners come from tier 3 cities, where there is a lack of top educators, thus the startup focuses in enlarging its teachers, languages, and adding more exams into the existing mixture.

“By leveraging technology and high-quality educators, we aim to move closer to our mission of democratising education at all levels, starting with test prep,”
“We are seeing unprecedented growth and engagement from learners in smaller towns and cities, and are also very humbled to see that top-quality educators are choosing Unacademy as their primary platform to reach out to students.”, says Gaurav Munjal, CEO of Unacademy.

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Unacademy - Educators

Unacademy imposes life lessons and motivational talks with top educators in its exclusive “Legends on Unacademy” initiative. The first edition included famous cricketers Brian Lara, Brett Lee, and Jonty Rhodes as educators, talking about their challenges and achievements. The second edition of “Legends on Unacademy” involved Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, India’s first woman IPS Officer Kiran Bedi, and the star couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma. Apart from this, the educators for all the sectors are highly accomplished with prior proficiency and in-depth erudition.

“These interactive classes will not only equip our learners with academic knowledge, but also empower them with extraordinary life skills, and help them hone their ability to overcome various challenges”, said Karan Shroff, Vice President, Marketing at Unacademy.

Unacademy - Growth and Revenue

Unacademy recorded a 4x increase in revenue from INR 21.8 Cr in FY2019 to INR 86 Cr in FY2020. It had reported net loss of INR 300 Cr. It is anticipated to accomplish a market size of $1.96 Bn by 2021.

The company has reared around $90 Mn from its investors and also gains revenue from its subscription initiatives. Sorting Hat Technologies, which operates Unacademy, has reached INR 21.89 Cr in FY19, as against INR 5.22 Cr in FY18. Unacademy states that the greatest success of them relies on the students who cracks the toughest of examinations. Catering 32 competitive exams as of now, the company focuses on its growth by including more tests and exams, to append subscribers. This Edtech startup has raised $110 Million from General Atlantic and Facebook and received a post-money valuation of $510 Million.

“We started to monetise around a year ago, and in the first month, we made around Rs 2 crore in revenue, and last month we did around Rs 18 crore. So, we’ve grown 9X in 12 months and we plan to continue growing from here,” said Gaurav Munjal

Unacademy - Funding and Investors

The total funding amount raised by Unacademy is $348.5 Million through eight different funding rounds.

Date Stage Amount Investors
May 2016 Seed $500K Blume Ventures,Rajan Anandan, Sumit Jain, and others.
January 2017 Series A $4.5M Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs, and others.
September 2017 Series B $11.5M Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, SAIF Partners.
July 2018 Series C $21M Sequoia Capital (India), Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, SAIF Partners.
June 2019 Series D $50M Steadview Capital, Sequoia Capital India, Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, Sujeet Kumar, and others.
February 2020 Series E $110M ($400M post-money valuation) General Atlantic, Blume Ventures, Facebook, Flipkart, Sequoia Capital India, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, and others.
September 2020 Venture Round $150M SoftBank Vision Fund

Initially, Unacademy has raised a seed funding of $500K from Blume Ventures in May 2016. The latest funding was raised on September 2, 2020.

“We were thrilled with how rapidly Gaurav (Munjal) and the team converted some of our collective product brainstorming sessions into an amazing live-streaming product and a subscription business for the test prep market,” said Shailendra Singh, Managing Director of Sequoia Capital.

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Unacademy - Acquisitions

Facebook-based Unacademy has acquired 6 startups till date to strengthen its position in the Edtech Sector. On September 2020, it acquired Coursavy, a UPSC Test Preparation Platform for an undisclosed value.

The list of Acquisitions is as follows:

Date Aquiree What it does Value
October 2018 Wifi Study Online exam preparation platform $10 Million
March 2020 Kreatryx Online GATE preparation web platform Undisclosed
June 2020 CodeChef Online platform for learning algorithm & coding Undisclosed
July 2020 PrepLadder Online Medical Entrance Exam Preparation platform $50 Million
July 2020 Mastree Online platform to master communication skills for Kids $5 Million
September 2020 Coursavy UPSC Test Preparation Platform Undisclosed

Unacademy - Business and Revenue Model

Unacademy operates on B2B and B2C business models. ‘Unacademy Plus’ has nearly 100,000 subscribers, which offers paid educational services. Unacademy provides two categories of learning resources, one is pre-recorded videos and another is LIVE sessions. It has a separate fee structure for LIVE sessions, and the pre-recorded videos can be viewed at free of cost. These paid subscriptions are the main source of revenue for Unacademy.

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Unacademy - Competitors

The main competitors for Unacademy are Khan Academy, Toppr, Byjus, Bluprint, Firefly, and TutorVista. Khan Academy appears to be the top competitor because like Unacademy, they provide quality educational content for free with which large students are being benefitted. Unacademy substantiates to be exclusive in its educational services though confronting several competitors across the nation.

Unacademy - Future Plans

The total market size of this EdTech startup is expected to reach $287 Billion by 2023, escalating from $160 billion in 2017. Having the largest distribution of free educational videos, and more than 100 Million views every month, the company is working towards creating videos in multiple languages to facilitate students globally, include worthy content and test preparation modules for all possible competitive examinations, and to affiliate with great minds to build powerful student network.

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