Unacademy founders, Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh  |  Photo Credit: Twitter
- Unacademy raised $150 million from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank at a valuation of $1.45 billion
- The ed-tech company saw a three-fold spike in valuation during the pandemic and clocked revenues more than 2017 and 2018 combined
- It was valued at $510 million in February 2020
New Delhi: Ed-tech has been all range after schools and colleges shut down in the wake of coronavirus lockdown, so it was only natural that valuations of deserving startups in the space saw an uptick –and they have at least for a few.
Bengaluru-headquartered Unacademy, which Gaurav Munjal started in 2010 as a hobby on YouTube, raked in $150 million in funding on a valuation of $ 1.45 billion from Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank. It witnessed a 3X spike, up from $510 million in February, in its valuation in the last six months, becoming the second Indian unicorn in the niche space after Byju’s.
The recent funding round also saw participation from existing investors Facebook Inc, Sequoia Capital, Blume Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners.
“Unacademy Group has raised $150M in a round led by SoftBank valuing us at $1.45 billion post the funding. Great to have them onboard as a partner in our journey. Our existing investors General Atlantic, Sequoia India, Nexus, Facebook and Blume also participated in the round. Our goal always has been to democratise knowledge and make it more affordable and accessible by getting the best experts of the world help everyone achieve their goals. We are just getting started. Thanks to all our team Members, Educators and Learners for supporting us and helping us build something Iconic,’ Unacademy co-founder Gaurav Munjal said in a statement on Twitter.
He told ET Now, his focus is not on “valuations as a milestone”, for which he congratulated his team nonetheless, but building great iconic products. The 30-year-old said Unacademy witnessed robust growth even before Covid. “February 2020 was 10X of February 2019. Our users prepared their goals on our platform when they couldn’t go out during the lockdown. We’re happy that we were able to provide them best classes by the best educators of the company,” he added.
Raising $150 million & tête-à-tête with Masayoshi Son
“Once you get product-market hit, fundraising gets easier and I’ve had tougher fundraising rounds that the one by SoftBank recently”, Munjal admits. SoftBank has been tracking us for the last 1.5 years and the recent fund-raising round took 45 days to complete, he added. Speaking about his 45-minute Zoom call with billionaire, tech entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist SoftBank CEO ‘Masa’, Munjal said he was really excited about some of the features on his platform. Son’s “obsession with small details” is what inspired Munjal during his interaction with the former.
Unacademy’s revenues during the pandemic were better than 2017 and 2018 combined and the company’s goal is to “democratise education”, said Munjal.
The company which claims to be the most affordable in the segment also said its also the largest learning platform in India with 18,000 educators and over 350,000 subscribers. It caters to 35 competitive exams other than life goals.