Edtech unicorn Unacademy has acquired NeoStencil, a test preparation platform focused on government jobs, making it its fifth acquisition of 2020. Code Chef, K-12 learning platform Mastree, PrepLadder and Coursavy were the other purchases of Unacademy of the year. The NeoStencil acquisition will strengthen Unacademy’s pole position in the test preparation segment and increase presence in Tier II and III cities.
Edtech startups in India have raised a total $2.22 bn in 2020, according to a report by Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and PGA Labs. These startups, so far, have raised a total of $4 bn since 2016. Byju’s and Unacademy topped the list with a total of $2.32 bn and $354 mn, respectively. Followed by Vedantu at $206 mn, Toppr at $107 mn, and Lead School at $39.4 mn. B2B edtech firms raised a total funding of $31 mn between 2017 -20.
Unacademy has raised undisclosed funds (between $75 mn to $100 mn in size) from Tiger Global and Dragoneer Investment valuing the startup at around $2 bn, up from about $500 mn in Feb this year. Unacademy helps students prepare for competitive exams to get into college, or those pursuing graduate-level courses. The platform has over 47,000 educators who conduct over 1.5 lakh live classes each month in 5000 cities to generate a watch time of 2 bn minutes.
Unacademy will buyback ESOPs worth Rs 25-30 cr. According to the company statement, employees can sell their ESOPs up to Rs 10 lakhs. Unacademy, with this ESOP buyback plan, has become the seventh startup in the ecosystem to go for ESOP buyback after Zerodha, FirstCry, BharatPe, Urban Company, MPL and Meesho in 2020. The buyback will take place on 10th Dec, where employees can participate and sell 25% to 100% of their ESOPs to the company.
1. Postman: a software company with a focus on API development; valued at around $2B. 2. Pine Labs: a Microsoft-backed point-of-sale service provider valued at $1.5B. 3. UnAcademy: one of India’s leading ed-tech startup with a valuation close to $1.5B. 4. Nykaa: a beauty and fashion startup valued at $1.2B. 5. Razorpay: a fintech startup with over 5M merchants; valued at $1B. 6. Zerodha: a fintech startup valued at $1B.
Unacademy has acquired test preparation startup Coursavy for an undisclosed amount as it aims to strengthen its position in the UPSC exams category. Founded in 2019, Coursavy has over 70K learners on its YouTube channel and platform where it hosts live online classes, resolves doubts, provides study notes and helps with performance evaluation and feedback. This marks Unacademy’s fourth acquisition this year, after Kreatryx, PrepLadder and CodeChef.
Unacademy has raised $150M in the series F financing round led by SoftBank Group, valuating the online learning start-up at $1.45B. Existing investors Facebook, Blume Ventures, Nexus Partners, General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital also participated in it. The platform has 30M registered users and it has amassed over 350,000 paying subscribers. Unacademy’s to-date raise in about $350 million.
EduTech startup Unacademy, in a tweet, announced that 60% of its 1,000-strong team will WFH, a new normal in COVID-19 pandemic, forever. Only the 400 people of product and content teams need to come to the office as they need frequent interactions and daily meetings. The 600 sales and ops team members will come to the office when called for meetings. PE major General Atlantic, Facebook and Sequoia Capital have invested in the Bangalore based start-up.
A cyberattack in Jan 2020 on Edtech start-up Unacademy exposed over 20 mn user accounts, which went on to sale on Dark Web, cybersecurity intelligence firm Cyble revealed. The attackers, claimed that they have the entire Unacademy database, however decided against exposing all of it. The Bengaluru based start-up, while confirming the breach has said that no sensitive information – financial data, location or passwords — has been compromised.