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General Atlantic and GGV Capital said to invest in Indian edu-tech startup Unacademy

The company also has presence in Indonesia and Brazil.

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

Within six months of its last funding round, Bengaluru-based education startup Unacademy is reportedly in discussion with new investors such as New York-based PE fund General Atlantic and global VC fund GGV Capital for a USD 100 million Series E funding round, according to local media Mint.

According to three people in the know, Unacademy is seeking a valuation of USD 400 million. Additionally, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Limited might also participate in the round that is expected to get finalized within a couple of months.

The four-year-old company raised USD 55 million in its Series D round in June this year at a valuation of over USD 200 million from investors including Steadview Capital, which poured in USD 20.59 million, while Sequoia Capital and Blume Ventures put in USD 12.06 million and USD 5 million, respectively.

Unacademy started its journey from posting videos on YouTube but later moved on to create its own website where it allowed users to publish their tutorials. Currently, it provides courses ranging from school and college-level subject-wise exams to advance courses that include MBA, IELTS, government job entrance exams, among many others. Until this year almost all its content was available for free.

Earlier this year, with the launch of Unacademy Plus, it has started freemium model which allows its users to take free classes from its app as well as the website, but premium content and specific courses are available on a subscription-based model. There are now more than 30 paid courses on its platform. The company had 13 million users in June this year, of which 50,000 are paid users who subscribe to its Unacademy Plus model.

The company has been able to post a six-time increase in its revenue from INR 1.76 crore (USD 250,000) in the financial year 2018 to INR 11.66 crore (USD 1.7 million) in financial year 2019, according to the filings with the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA).

The Indian education technology space, that is expected to reach USD 1.96 billion by 2021 has seen a lot of investment this year with a few new companies also managing to have attracted VC money.

In April this year, DoubtNut, raised USD 3.3 million in its pre-series A round from this year’s most talked-about incubation program Surge from Sequoia India. Existing investors such as WaterBridge Ventures, Omidyar Network India, and a new investor, AET, Japan also participated in this round.

Apart from this, online exam preparation startup Gradeup received USD 7 million in Series A funding from Times Internet, bringing its total fundraise to USD 10 million. The biggest fundraising in edu-tech space this year was from Vendantu that got a cheque of USD 42 million in a Series C round led by Tiger Global and WestBridge Capital. But with a valuation of over USD 5.5 billion, Bengaluru-based BYJU’s is the biggest player in this space.