Bangalore-based ed-tech startup Unacademy has raised $21 million in Series C funding from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, and Nexus Venture Partners. Early-stage tech-focused investor Blume Ventures who led the first institutional funding in 2016, also participated in this round.
The raised capital will be utilised to onboard new educators on the platform, penetrate deeper into other categories such as pre-medical, GATE and CAT, and further strengthen the core product and technology team.
“Right from the outset, we have focused on growing the platform by empowering the best educators. We have grown tremendously since our inception, and just last month, more than 3000 educators were active on the platform and lessons created by them were watched more than 40 million times by learners,” said Gaurav Munjal, Co-Founder and CEO, Unacademy. “We will utilise these funds to invest heavily in our product and technology to make Unacademy one of the best global internet products out of India,” he further added.
Unacademy was founded by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh in 2015. The platform empowers educators by making it easy for them to create high quality educational lessons on the Educator App that learners access via the Learning App.
In October last year, Unacademy launched ‘Plus’ courses on its platform with a private discussion forum, live video classes, and a personalised classroom learning environment with its top educators. Currently, more than 30 educators take paid ‘Plus’ courses on the platform apart from the lessons that are also available for free. Since the launch of Plus courses, the company has achieved six-fold growth in its monthly revenue.
The company has raised a funding of $38.6 million in total so far. In September 2017, it raised $11.5 million Series B funding led by Sequoia India and SAIF Partners along with early stage investors Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures.
Prior to this, Unacademy had raised $4.5 million in its Series A funding led by Nexus Venture Partners and existing investor Blume Ventures.
In May 2016, the company had raised $500,000(about Rs 3.3 crore) in seed capital, through a funding round led by Blume Ventures, along with angel investors including Rajan Anandan (Google), Sumit Jain (CommonFloor), Aprameya Radhakrishna (Taxi4Sure), Sujeet Kumar (earlier Flipkart), Phanindra Sama (RedBus) among others. In 2015, It had raised $1 million from a clutch of investors including Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, with Blume Ventures leading the round.
According to a joint report published by Google and KPMG, India’s online education industry will grow to $1.96 billion by 2021. However, the Ed-tech market is stuffed with well-funded and large players who are willing to tap every single opportunity. Companies like Toppr, WizIQ, iNurture, UpGrad, Jigsaw Academy, CollegeDekho, S Chand, Smartivity Labs and Schoolguru, Embibe and Meritnation are among other competitors. Also, Unacedemy directly competes with Byju’s Learning, which had raised an undisclosed amount of funding last year.