Online Learning Platform Unacademy Raises Seed Funding

(Photo: Amanda Mills, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Amanda Mills, Creative Commons)

Online learning platform Unacademy has announced that it has raised a $500,000 seed round of funding led by Blume Ventures.

Some of the investors having participated this year include Google India Head Rajan Anandan, CommonFloor Co-founder Sumit Jain, Taxi4Sure Co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna, former Flipkart senior executive Sujeet Kumar, and redBus Co-founder Phanindra Sama.

“Delivery of education in India needs radical shifts. Unacademy is a manifestation of the team’s vision to make all forms of educative material so intuitive and accessible that learning becomes extremely interesting and scalable,” said Karthik Reddy, managing partner at Blume Ventures.

The company has suggested that the funding will be used for product development in addition to increasing the platform to handle thousands of educators.  A number of new tools will be introduced by the startup for educators to use, as well as making user content more interactive, writes Anirudh Saligrama for TechStory.

Unacademy was initially started as an educational YouTube channel in 2011 by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh and Sachin Gupta.  The free learning platform was introduced by the group in January 2016, reports Harshith Mallya for YourStory.

The YouTube channel currently has over 15 million videos views, with close to 1 million views each month, and is among the top educational channels in the country, the platform features over 1,500 lessons on a number of topics, from learning a new language to performing well on government examinations.

Unacademy offers educators the ability to create courses on the platform.  In order to use the service, all educators must first go through an interview process and be selected, based on their level of experience.  The startup then helps educators to create the courses, which will be available on the platform for free.

Guarav said there are currently 100 educators working with the startup.  The additional funding will hopefully allow the company to increase the number of lessons available, from 1,500 to at least 4,000 by the end of 2016.  Unacademy is also planning to launch Android and iOS mobile apps in the next few weeks.

Later on, the company hopes to introduce multiple choice tests in order to help users test themselves on what they have just learned and to complete the “learning loop.”

According to sources and reports by ET, the CEO of the company, Gaurav Munjal said, “the company’s vision is to distribute knowledge of the educators and innovators in the form of mini courses having lessons of not more than 10 minutes each”. “The platform makes the discovery of these courses easy which the learners can then take and track their progress”, he added.

Prior to Unacademy, Gaurav and Hemesh had been running FlatChat, which was bought by CommonFloor in 2014.  At 24 years old, Roman is one of the youngest people to obtain a high score on the Civil Services Examination.  He quit his position as Assistant Collector of Jabalpur in order to help create Unacademy.

Other startups in the education technology arena include Vidyanext, flipClass, Simplilearn, Edureka and Toppr.