Mumbai: Education startup Unacademy said on Wednesday it has raised a $50 million Series D round from US-based hedge fund Steadview Capital, as well as existing investors venture capital firms Sequoia Capital India, Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures.
Angel investors Aakrit Vaish (co-founder & chief executive officer, Haptik) and Sujeet Kumar (co-founder, Udaan) also participated in the round, along with Unacademy founders, Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini.
Unacademy allows educators to create multimedia content for free viewing by users. It recently launched its Plus Subscription. More than 50,000 learners have subscribed to Unacademy Plus since its launch. The Unacademy Plus Subscription is available for more than 20 exam categories and provides students unlimited access to more than 600 live classes. These classes are conducted every day by educators from across the country.
Gaurav Munjal, co-founder and chief executive of Unacademy, said, “Our mission has been to provide every learner in the country access to the highest quality of education. We are seeing unprecedented growth and engagement from learners in smaller towns and cities."
The startup raised $21 million in July 2018 from Sequoia, SAIF Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and other existing investors at a valuation of more than $100 million. Prior to that, it raised $11.5 million from Sequoia and SAIF Partners in September 2017.
Unacademy, which is run by Sorting Hat Technologies Pvt. Ltd, did not disclose its valuation after the current round.
Unacademy acquired last October WiFiStudy, a Jaipur-based YouTube channel, to increase its presence in tier-2 and -3 cities among students who prepare for public recruitment exams including railways and banking, Mint reported.
“The company 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.
Unacademy is among a series of mature startups in the education sector that have emerged in the last few years, backed by some of the country’s most prominent consumer internet investors. The rise has been driven by online tutoring firm Byju’s (Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd)., which raised $400 million in December 2018 from Canada’s CPP Investment Board, Naspers Ventures, and private equity firm General Atlantic, among others, valuing it at more than $4 billion.
Other education startups include executive learning firm Eruditus, which raised $40 million led by Sequoia. Eruditus has tied up with recognized foreign universities, including Columbia University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Business School. It offers management programmes and short courses, besides online curriculum.
Toppr Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs an app providing education content for students from Class 5 to Class 12, also raised $35 million in a Series C round led by education-focused investor Kaizen Private Equity, venture debt firm Alteria Capital and existing investors such as SAIF Partners and Helion Ventures.
Last November, Vedantu, an online tutoring platform raised $11-million in a funding round led by Omidyar.
Unacademy claims to have the largest distribution for educational videos on its free platform, and YouTube and Unacademy lessons have more than 100 million monthly views across these platforms. Its YouTube channels currently have more than 11 million subscribers.