- Girish Mathrubootham (CEO, Freshdesk) and Ananth Narayanan (CEO, Myntra) along with Stanford Angels have also participated in the round
- Funds to be used for expansion of content portfolio, onboarding the best educators on the platform, hiring talent, and improving user experience
- Unacademy expects its active user base to organically grow from 200,000 to 1 Million users in 2017
- In one year, Unacademy has grown 10x and is now doing 5 MN video views every month (25MN video views in 2016) – Unacademy.com and YouTube channel put together – mainly organic growth driven by minimal marketing spend
- Unacademy also plans to launch its Android App by the end of February, 2017
Bangalore, January 13, 2017: Building on its growth in the first year of its inception, Unacademy – India’s largest free online learning platform – has raised $4.5 million (Rs 30 crores) in Series A funding led by Nexus Venture Partners and existing investor Blume Ventures.
The one year old startup founded in Bengaluru, allows educators to create courses using their app on various subjects, including exclusive content for various competitive exams, which can be accessed by students on their platform Unacademy.com. They are also one of the largest educational YouTube channels in India.
The platform, which aims to get the best minds of the country share their knowledge in an easily comprehendible form, currently has more than 500,000 registered users with over 200,000 active users.
Gaurav Munjal, CEO, Unacademy, says “Since ancient times India has been known as the land of vast knowledge and our teachers have been considered Gurus. A teacher is equal to a God, I have heard this from my parents since childhood. Unacademy aims to be the largest platform in the world where teachers or educators come and share their knowledge. Our teachers apply various innovative approaches from storytelling to mnemonics to make students understand a topic. And more importantly we have teachers from a lot of two-tier and three-tier cities and even villages teaching on the platform. Why should knowledge sharing be only done by Professors of Stanford, Harvard or IITs? With the influx of capital Unacademy aims to empower more educators who come on the platform to create highly engaging courses that impact millions of students. And we have just started, there is a long way to go.”
With the new round of funding, Unacademy will aggressively invest in growing its educators base from 200 to 2000 in the next one year, across varied exam preparation, language learning and professional growth topics.
The courses on the platform, which currently cater to major competitive examinations, will soon have content from areas such as personal finance, personality development and more. Currently the platform has more than 6000 lessons spread over 500 courses.
“We are strong believers in Unacademy’s platform-centric approach to building an engaged community of educators and learners. We feel that they are well-positioned to re-define and democratise learning using vernacular video-led courses for professional development, competitive exams and personal enrichment. The team has done a great job in growing a community of committed educators nationally by providing them with easy to use powerful tools to share their knowledge, grow their influence and monetise their knowledge. We are very excited on partnering with Gaurav, Roman, Hemesh, Sachin and the rest of the Unacademy team on the next phase of their entrepreneurial journey!” says Sameer Brij Verma of Nexus who is joining the company’s board.
Unacademy’s impact until now can be credited to its small team of talented professionals, curated educators, and evolving product innovation that has brought down the operational costs to a bare minimum. Taking cue from its history that runs down to its YouTube channel, Unacademy has worked towards building a strong and diverse platform for seamless learning, with ease of access both for the educator and the learner.
“The founders are steadfast in their vision of creating an incredible democratization of educational content. We’re glad to see Nexus believe in Gaurav, Roman and team to further fuel this vision. This round sets the stage for content categories to explode in very interesting directions over the next year or so, and then the world is our playground. We hope to see Unacademy become the first great global consumer success story from India.” says Karthik Reddy of Blume Ventures.
Slated as India’s largest free education initiative, we believe in delivering high quality educational videos available for free for everyone. Having the world’s entire education on our platform in all languages is the goal that keeps us going every single day.
With a robust league of educators from across the country, Unacademy strives to delivering on the promise of offering the best educational content an aspirant or a viewer could find on the Internet. All educators go through an interview process and their experience in teaching is taken into consideration. The team helps these educators to create these courses which then go live on the platform that anyone can take for free.
Unacademy was co-founded by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh, and Sachin Gupta in 2015.
It is India’s top channel on YouTube, with over 27 million video views and over 375,000 subscribers. Their platform Unacademy.com boasts of 5000 high quality educational lessons made by over 200 educators.
ABOUT THE FOUNDERS
Gaurav Munjal, 26
A Computer Science graduate from NMIMS, he worked with Directi as a Software Developer for a year. He founded Flat.to in 2013 which was later acquired by CommonFloor. Following CommonFloor’s fresh round of investment in FlatChat, he handled it as a Co-Founder and CEO.
Roman Saini, 25
Doctor from AIIMS; cracked the entrance exam at the age of 16. Cracked UPSC CSE at the age of 22 to become one of India’s youngest IAS officers – served as Assistant Collector of Jabalpur. He is the face of Unacademy and one of the best educators across India, also a celebrity on Quora. Cutting the long story short, he is the celebrity in our co-founding team.
Hemesh Singh, 24
Hemesh graduated with a major in ECE from MNNIT. Hemesh and Sachin have worked together before on a couple of side projects like Squifer (document cloud), Metalgrunge (music streaming, this was before Gaana), Double IT (an Android game). Following his graduation, Hemesh joined Flat.to as the first employee and after the acquisition by CommonFloor, he started Flatchat with Gaurav.
Sachin Gupta, 26
A Computer Science graduate from NIT-A, Sachin worked with Cisco and Goibibo as Software developer for two years. He has developed Squifer – a document-sharing platform, DoubleIT – an Android-based game, and ShopiBin – Cashback website.