Indian ed-tech start-up Unacademy raises $110M from Facebook, others
Unacademy, one of the fastest-growing ed-tech start-ups in India, has now been backed by the biggest social media company in the world - Facebook. The company has raised $110 million as part of a Series E round of funding led by private equity firm General Atlantic, Facebook, Sequoia, and existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital, and Blume Ventures. Here are more details.
Just recently, Gaurav Munjal, the co-founder and CEO of Unacademy, took to Twitter to confirm the multi-million-dollar investment in the company. He didn't share individual contributions but sources familiar with the development told TechCrunch that Facebook has infused around $20 million. Now, this takes the valuation of the ed-tech start-up, which has been operating for the last five years, close to $400-500 million.
Since its early days, Unacademy has been providing students a platform to connect with top educators in the country through live classes and recorded sessions. The platform covers a range of competitive and college entrance exams - from SSC and Bank to CAT and GATE - and provides detailed preparation material, complete with quizzes and live tests, to prepare for them.
The backing of Facebook comes just a few weeks after Munjal announced that Unacademy Plus, their one-year-old subscription product providing access to all live classes, had reached $30 million in annualized recurring revenue. Prior to that, in September 2019, the company had claimed that it has more than 10,000 educators and a batch of 13 million learners.
We have also heavily invested in making high quality free classes available on YouTube and our own platform where we see more than 150M video views every month.— Gaurav Munjal (@gauravmunjal) February 19, 2020
"With this investment, we are reinforcing our commitment to the Indian start-up ecosystem as well as investing in a company that is transforming learning in India," Facebook India VP Ajit Mohan said while adding that "we love that the company is fundamentally democratizing education."
As of now, neither Unacademy nor Munjal have said anything about how they plan to deploy fresh funds. Notably, this is the second time that Facebook has invested in an Indian company. The first one was Meesho, a popular social commerce platform that had raised $125 million in a round led by Prosus Ventures in 2019.
In the ed-tech category, Unacademy is also challenged by a number of growing start-ups, including Times Internet's GradeUp, Tiger Global-backed Byju's, Ronnie Screwvala's UpGrad as well as Toppr, Testbook, and Vedantu.