Edtech startup Unacademy has raised $50 million in its series D financing round led by Hong Kong-based hedge fund Steadview Capital, along with existing backers Sequoia India, Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures indicating rising investor interest in backing growth-stage education platforms.
Unacademy founders Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini also participated in the funding round, along with angel investors Aakrit Vaish, CEO, Haptik and Sujeet Kumar, cofounder, Udaan.
The company plans to use the investment to onboard more educators, fuel growth across multiple exam categories and build a more robust product and technology team.
Unacademy is a platform that connects expert educators with students looking for quality education. The company has 13 million learners.
“We are seeing unprecedented growth and engagement from learners in smaller towns and cities, and are also very humbled to see that top-quality educators are choosing Unacademy as their primary platform to reach out to students,” Munjal, co founder and CEO Unacademy said.
The company says it has more than 50,000 learner subscribers, and 400 teaches across 20 exam categories including UPSC, IIT-JEE and CAT.
Unacademy started as a free learning platform which allows educators to create courses on various subjects, including content for various competitive exams, which can be accessed by students on their platform. The platform continues to get reach from its free platform, and this acts like a filtering mechanism to get the filter teachers on board the paid product. In October 2018, Unacademy acquired Jaipur-based online education and career portal Wifistudy.
“(Unacademy) is solving for a big consumer need by enabling millions of students and test prep takers to get access to the best educators in the country,” said Ravi Mehta, Managing Director, Steadview Capital.
The paid user base for online education is expected to touch 9.6 million by 2021, according to a report by KPMG in collaboration with Google. Competitive exams and test preparation are expected to be among the fastest growing segments. Over 200 million students prepare for exams in India each year, and they are increasingly looking at vast pool of online resources to better compete.