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SoftBank-backed Unacademy closes USD 440 million round, valuation shoots up 70% to USD 3.44 billion

Written by Moulishree Srivastava Published on     3 mins read

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The edtech company plans to use the funding to scale existing offerings under its exam prep vertical and build platforms for new verticals like job search, content creation, and upskilling.

Indian edtech startup Unacademy has closed a USD 440 million Series H round led by Singapore’s Temasek at a valuation of USD 3.44 billion, the company said on Monday.

South Korea’s Mirae Asset joined the round, along with participation from existing investors including SoftBank Vision Fund, General Atlantic, and Tiger Global. Zomato co-founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal and Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal, through his investment firm Aroa Ventures, also chipped in.

With the recent funding, the company has raised a total of USD 860 million so far. The deal has shot up the valuation of the six-year-old edtech firm by over 70% from USD 2 billion in November last year. Overall, in the last 18 months, the valuation of Unacademy has risen almost 10x, the company said in a statement.

The transaction also included a secondary share sale worth USD 20 million, which gave exits to one of its early investors as well as a slew of angel investors, a report by local media Economic Times (ET)  said.

The company plans to use the capital to build new verticals and scale its existing product offerings.

“With funding comes responsibility,” Gaurav Munjal, co-founder and CEO of Unacademy, tweeted on Monday morning. He added the company plans to use the funding to build and scale three major products—existing competitive examination platform Unacademy, hiring platform Relevel for people to land jobs “irrespective of their educational background,” and content platform Graphy for “creators to build their online businesses to sell digital goods including NFTs.”

The company also plans to get into upskilling category, where it will compete with the likes of UpGrad, and Great Learning, which was acquired by edtech giant Byju’s last week, said the ET report.

Unacademy has been on an acquisition spree since early 2020, which is when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit India. In the last 18 months, the company has raised over USD 750 million in venture capital and scooped up nine startups, including game streaming platform Rheo TV, smaller competitive exam prep platform Handa Ka Funda, and content services platform TapChief earlier this year.

Founded by Gaurav Munjal, Hemesh Singh, and Roman Saini, Unacademy is a platform that connects teachers and learners preparing for school or competitive examinations. It enables educators on its platform to create videos and offer live interactive classes.

The platform was started as a YouTube channel for coding lessons by Munjal while he was still an engineering student in 2010. He co-founded the company along with Singh and Saini in 2015 under the parent company Sorting Hat Technologies Pvt. While Unacademy offered classes for free initially, it brought in a subscription model in 2019.

The startup claims to have 50,000 tutors and over 62 million learners registered on its platform. Reportedly, it has over six million monthly active users, of which 600,000 are paid subscribers. Unacademy currently has an annual revenue run rate of USD 200-million for its test preparation vertical, while in K–12, it has a USD 18 million annualized run rate, as per the ET report. It reportedly plans to become profitable in the next 12 months.

The development comes at a time when global investors are increasing their bets on India after Chinese regulators cracked down on the edtech sector earlier this year, which wiped out billions of dollars of investors’ money. According to a report by RBSA Advisors, India’s edtech industry is expected to touch USD 30 billion in the next ten years, up from the current USD 700–800 million.

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