Unacademy, a Bengaluru-based online education platform that has already raised half a million dollars in its seed round, has now received $1 million from Blume Ventures, Tracxn Labs, Stanford Angels India, and WaterBridge Ventures. Other angel investors include Kunal Shah, Sandeep Tandon, and Vikas Malpani. The company will use the funds for product and technology development and it will also expand its team.
Gaurav Munjal, co-founder of the firm, highlighted the plans for rapid growth:
“Within two months, the Unacademy Create app will be made available to all, so anyone across the world can create lessons in any language they like. After a thorough screening process, we will make the relevant lessons available on our platform that will be free for all to see.”
Unacademy started as an experimental YouTube channel and turned into India’s largest free online learning platform. After just eight months in operation, over 300,000 students took advantage of its 2,400 online classes, writes Harshith Mallya of Your Story. As Jeet Suthar of Tech Portal notes, the app allows teachers to create courses on various subjects as well as content for exams.
The idea behind the start-up is to invite India’s most competitive minds in every subject to share their knowledge in a user-friendly way, notes Arushi Chopra of the LiveMint. Unacadamy estimated that it attracted more than a million visitors per month, and that number is constantly increasing. According to Gaurav Munjal, one of the Unacademy co-founders, since the official launch, more than 100 educators have created over 200 courses. Some of the most prominent influencers who joined the platform include Tina Dabi, IAS Topper 2016, and India’s first female IPS officer and Governor of Puducherry, Kiran Bedi.
Bedi commented that it took her less than ten minutes to record a video lesson on “Time Management and Productivity” on the Unacademy Create app. The simplicity and the user-friendly design of the app make it a preferred way for sharing experiences with others, Bedi added. She also urged the company to start conducting lessons and workshops in Puducherry.
Many of the subscribed students said they managed to pass some of India’s toughest examinations. Students also claimed they had improved their speaking and writing skills and increased their knowledge significantly. According to Karthik Reddy, Managing Partner at Blume Ventures, and one of the angels who supported Unacademy, the platform is an example of the beginning of a shift in India’s Internet. Thanks to Unacademy, many smartphone users will have access to a world-class education free of charge, said Reddy.
As CatchNews reported, the online education business in India is evolving quickly. Many start-ups in the field have received capital injections from business ventures. Last month, Byndr received $700,000 in its seed funding round to speed up its growth. Several months ago, Cuemath secured Rs 27 crore from Sequoia India and Unitus. EduRev, iDreamCareer.com, EduKart, Oust Labs are among the other startups in the sector to receive funding.
Unacademy co-founder Guarav said that his team currently consists of 14 members. His short-term plans include keeping the team small and hiring no more than five new talents to boost the company’s development. Guarav also added that there are plans to launch a consumer-facing app by the end of this year.