How is Unacademy making it profitable from online preparation to offline centres

Unacademy startup story- Founders, Investors, Funding, competetion,

Unacademy is a Bangalore-based leading online EdTech company that focuses on going beyond the usual textbooks and classroom education. It prepares students for a wide range of competitive exams such as UPSC, State PSC, Bank exams, Railway exams, Defense exams, NEET, IIT-JEE, GATE, TET, CAT, CA, and CS.

Its aim is to build the World’s largest online knowledge repository for multilingual education through which students can gain useful knowledge, improve their speaking ability, and increase their chances of qualifying in competitive exams. 

Vision and Mission Statement:

“Expanding its educators along with the students, Unacademy aims to collaborate with the brightest minds and empower India’s youth population which accounts for 19% of the world’s youth, to bring oneself into this contemporary world.”

Unacademy startup story- Founders, Investors, Funding, competetion, Partnerships and Acquisitions

Founders and Management team of Unacademy

Unacademy started as a YouTube channel back in 2010, which provided paid education online and LIVE sessions for users by Gaurav Munjal. It was officially launched as Unacademy in the year 2015. Unacademy was founded by Gaurav Munjal, Dr. Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh.

Gaurav Munjal, the CEO of Unacademy initiated a YouTube channel in 2010 while being an engineering student in Mumbai. He uploaded a video tutorial on computer graphics on a YouTube channel that his friends could directly have access to.

Prior to Unacademy, he founded Flatchat (which was a real estate platform to help students and bachelors to find flats on rent) later acquired by Common Floor. He also worked for companies like Directi and Metacube.

Dr. Roman Saini, the Co-founder and chief educator of Unacademy has been a medical graduate and proceeded to crack the UPSC exam at the young age of 21. He is passionate about making education more accessible and affordable to everyone. He was drawn to the potential of online learning after experiencing the transformative power of online learning himself.

Hemesh Singh is the Co-founder and CEO who graduated in Engineering from Motilal Nehru Institute of Technology. Prior to starting this platform, he worked as a software engineer at Google. 

Tagline

Unacademy is supposed to be everything that a traditional academy isn’t and much more. The individual should be able to learn whatever they want at their own speed and convenience. Thus, the name Unacademy. “India’s largest learning platform” is the tagline of the company.

Unacademy: Funding and Investors

Unacademy has raised a total of $838.5M over 12 funding rounds. The latest funding was raised on August 1, 2021, from the Series H round. 

DATEINVESTORSAMOUNT ROUND
2016Blume Ventures$500kSeed
2016Blume Ventures, Tracxn Labs, WaterBridge Ventures$1MSeed
Aug 2016Tracxn, Blume Ventures, Sumit Jain, Vikas Malpani, Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal, Kunal Shah, Sujeet Kumar, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Phanindra Sama, Sandeep Tandon, WaterBridge Ventures, Aprameya Radhakrishna, Ashish Tulsian$1MSeed
Jan 2017Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal, Kunal Shah, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Girish Mathrubootham, Sandeep Tandon, Tracxn Labs, WaterBridge Ventures, Ananth Narayanan, Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs, Tashish Tulsian$4.5MSeries A
Sep 2017Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners, Blume Ventures, Nexus Ventures$11.5 MSeries B
Jul 2018Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners, Blume Ventures, Nexus Ventures$21MSeries C
Jun 2019Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, Steadview Capital, Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini$50MSeries D





Feb 2020General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital, Meta (formerly Facebook), Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, Steadview Capital, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Sujeet Kumar$110MSeries E
Sep 2020General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital, Meta (formerly Facebook), Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, SoftBank$150MSeries F
Nov 2020Tiger Global Management, Dragoneer Investment Group$87.5MVenture Round
Jan 2021General Atlantic, Tiger Global Management, Dragoneer Investment Group, Steadview Capital$50MSecondary market
Feb 2021Sachin TendulkarN/A
Aug 2021General Atlantic, Tiger Global Management, Temasek, SoftBank$440MSeries H
Aug 2021Dragoneer Investment Group, Bhavin Turakhia$10MSeries H
TOTAL FUNDING$891M

Products and Services of Unacademy

Unacademy was founded with a vision to provide affordable and quality education to everyone in India. It is a platform for learning from top educators in India.

The team at Unacademy handpicks the best educators and provides them with a platform to share their knowledge with students across the country. The platform offers a vast range of subjects such as mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, English language skills, geography, etc. 

Unacademy has its own Mobile application and YouTube channel. It offers 60+ exam category preparations covering subjects from a variety of competitive exams.

The main income of the platform comes from its paid memberships. They offer a range of services for free but for the accessibility of high-quality content, a small fee should be paid.

Market Analysis and Strategy of Unacademy

As a part of its aggressive marketing strategy, Unacademy uses digital marketing like Google, Social Media, and OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.

Its concentrated approach towards producing branded content can be gauged by its various launches such as Chamomile Tea with Toppers, Aspirants, Officers on Duty, Unacademy Unwind, and even its anthem – Crack it!”. 

Unacademy invests in organizing comprehensive summits with the likes of Dr. Kiran Bedi among its speakers. Apart from providing affordable products and services, it meaningfully employs branded content too to achieve the aforementioned aim.

The branded content here strives to provide reasons behind education, simplify the process, and then present the wherewithal to achieve it.

Branded content of the kind that Unacademy produces can possibly work wonders for the brand image and reinvigorate the brand values.

It goes well with the thinking that most EdTech brands aim to represent which is to give a conceptual understanding to learners.

Content such as chat shows, or musical programs can ultimately become markers that set a learning platform apart as illustrative or interactive diagrams are now already available at all places.

Unacademy Financial plan

Unacademy stood as one of the largest companies amongst its peers, raising Rs. 1,965 Crore, and acquired 8 companies during the fiscal year ending March 2021.

A breakdown of the revenue revealed that the company’s operating revenue surged 6.1 times year over year to Rs. 398 Crores in FY21 from Rs. 65 Crores in FY20.

The highest collections came from paid subscriptions which increased rapidly to 95.7% to Rs. 380.8 Crores. It also made Rs. 7.92 crores from the sale of educational material and Rs. 9.01 Crores from advertising and other related operations. 

The expense report showed the highest spending on employee benefits. The employee benefits surged 6.2 times to Rs. 748.5 Crores. Educator payouts also spiked to Rs. 541.3 Crores, which is the 2nd largest expense for the company. 

The company’s annual loss surged nearly 6 times to Rs.1,537.5 Crores during FY21. 

Unacademy Partnerships and Acquisitions:

Partnerships: 

  • Unacademy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Backward Classes Welfare Department (BCWD), Government of Telangana State to prepare meritorious students from the state for competitive exams with scholarships. Under this MoU, 4,500 students will receive the benefits of the scholarship program. In addition, all the girl students from Telangana state who qualify for the aptitude test will receive scholarships under Unacademy’s mega-nation program “Shikshodaya”.  
  • Unacademy has been declared the official partner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) from 2020 to 2022. 

Acquisitions:

  • Wifistudy: This Jaipur-based YouTube-based online exam preparation channel founded by Dinesh Godara in 2013 focused on preparation for competitive public-sector exams such as SSC, banking, railway, and state police. Unacademy acquired it for $10 million in 2018. During the acquisition, the channel had 4.5 million subscribers and 70 million monthly video views. Thus, with this acquisition, Unacademy aimed to venture deeper into the test prep market.
  • Kreatryx: Founded by Ankit Goyal in 2014, it offers videos, test series, and a postal tracking platform for GATE and ESE exams. Unacademy acquired it in March 2020. The distinct feature of Kreatryx is, it provides a chance for learners to discuss their doubts among themselves and helps connect them with other top aspirants. Though Unacademy has acquired Kreatryx, the company still continues to work as an individual brand under the Unacademy branch. The current number of users is fifty thousand with over one lakh of watched videos.
  • CodeChef: CodeChef was founded in 2009, with the objective of providing a platform for students aspiring to become programmers. Unacademy acquired it in June 2020. The Acquisition of CodeChef helped Unacademy to venture into the coding and programming field.  The company mainly provides programmers a chance to improve their coding and problem-solving skills by arranging numerous contests, providing training, conducting discussions, and tutorials on binary search and algorithms. It also helps organizations connect with programmers. 
  • Prepladder: Prepladder was founded by Deepanshu Goyal, Vipul Goyal, and Sahil Goyal. In 2015, it provided material for medical entrance exams, medical PG, and Foreign Medical Graduates examinations such as NEET, PG, and FMGE. The company was acquired by Unacademy through a cash and stock deal for $50 million in July 2020. The entire 250-member team joined Unacademy, including its founders also. The unit has about 86,000 active subscribers.
  • Mastree: Mastree is a Bangalore-based startup company founded in 2019, which offers a subscription-based product for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) courses, for classes 5 – 8 which include live classes, unlimited personalized practices, and also live quizzes. This is the first K12 learning organization acquired by Unacademy for $5 million in July 2020. 
  • Coursavy: Coursavy founded by Vimal Singh Rathore in 2019 is a platform that provides affordable online educational content to UPSC aspirants. It was acquired by Unacademy in September 2020, by which Unacademy has been able to broaden its services to the UPSC test prep market. Currently, its YouTube channel has 70K subscribers.
  • NeoStencil: NeoStencil was founded by Kush Beejal in 2015 for providing services to students preparing for UPSC exams, government jobs, Judiciary exams, IIT-JEE/NEET, IAS, etc. It was acquired by Unacademy in December 2020. It offers about 590+ courses and has a user base of over 40 lakhs and about 15,000 students via paid subscriptions.
  • TapChief: It is an online platform that provides professionals without full-time jobs to earn income. Unacademy acquired TapChief in February 2021, by picking up a majority stake attributing a valuation of Rs. 100 crore. It has helped people accumulate about Rs. 20 crores in income till now and has more than 1,50,000 registered professionals. It also helps individuals to learn, network, and gain short-term projects.  
  • Handa Ka Funda: It was founded by Ravi Handa in 2012, for helping students crack the MBA entrance exams like CAT, XAT, IIFT, etc. It was acquired by Unacademy in May 2021. The website has a network of over 20,000 students. The owner Ravi Handa continues to work in the Unacademy branch as a mentor. 
  • Rheo TV: It is a live game streaming platform founded in 2019, that provides an opportunity for professional streamers to live to stream their gameplay. Unacademy acquired it in July 2021, which enabled Unacademy to venture into an online gaming platform. The platform gained over 5 million users and over 10,000 live streamers within one year of its launch. 
  • Spayee: It was founded by Sandeep Singh, Gourav Kakkar, Aniruddha Singh, and Vijay Singh in the year 2014, which allows content creators to produce customized courses in the form of audio and video tutorials, PDF documents, quizzes, assignments, and live classes. Unacademy acquired it for $25 million in October 2021. Currently, over 2,000+ creators and businesses have launched their platforms using Spayee.
  • Swiflearn: It was founded by Abhinav Agarwal and Anand Bakode in 2019, which provides a personalized home tuition experience to students of grades 1–10 in CBSE and ICSE boards for English, Mathematics, and Science along with other areas of learning like mental ability, life skills, and Vedic math. It was acquired by Unacademy in November 2021. It currently has 1,500 teachers, hosts 30,000 classes every month, and has over 1.2 lakh registered learners. 

Competition: 

Unacademy has captured a significant amount in the education sector in India, which increases its competitiveness. It is exclusive in its education services and confronts several competitors across the nation. The main competitors are listed below: 

COMPANYEMPLOYEESTOTAL FUNDINGREVENUE
Vedantu1,225$84.5M$10M
BYJU’S11,000$1.4B$205.5M
Toppr1,376$58.6M$8.4M
EMBIBE1,000$4M$1.1M
TESTBOOK237$12.5M$4.2M
TOP RANKERS149$670K$3M
KHAN ACADEMY219$7.2M$53.5M

Future Plans:

Unacademy has become one of the go-to platforms for students and professionals who want to learn new skills or improve their existing ones.

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 exams, and affiliate with great minds to build a powerful student network.

The total EdTech sector generates about $1 billion in revenues out of the total of $135 billion that the education sector consists of, which means there is an opportunity for more growth in the sector and so far, everything seems to be healthy and is filled with uncontrolled potential now that globally education has been shifting towards digitization.

FAQs

What is Unacademy?

The Bangalore-based learning platform prepares students for different board exams, competitive exams, banking exams, etc.

Who are the founders of Unacademy?

The founders of Unacademy are Gaurav Munjal, Dr Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh.

What is the salary of an Unacademy educator?

The educator’s salary ranges from Rs. 1.2 lakh to Rs. 16.4 lakhs depending on the educator’s experience and skills.

Who is the CEO of Unacademy?

Gaurav Munjal.

How many teachers are there in Unacademy?

10,000 educators.

How to enrol in a course?

Once you select the goal, you will find the option to view the ongoing and upcoming courses. Please click on the checkbox you see on the specific course in which you are looking to enroll.

How many students study at Unacademy?

Unacademy has 10,000 registered educators and 13 million learners — up from 3 million a year ago.

How do I contact Unacademy?

help@unacademy.com

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