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Unacademy raises $1 mn from the likes of Paytm, Freecharge, Flipkart

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:47 IST

Bengaluru-based online learning platform, Unacademy, has raised $1 million from investors in their second round of funding. Flipkart co-founders Sachin and Binny Bansal, Freecharge co-founders Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon, and Paytm's Vijay Shekhar Sharma, among others, are backing the Bengaluru-based company. Unacademy, from its previous round of institutional funding in April, raised $500,000 in just four months.

The round also saw Blume Ventures, Stanford Angels India, WaterBridge Ventures, and Tracxn Labs invest in the education platform. Existing investors in the company -- Sujeet Kumar (ex-Flipkart), Aprameya Radhakrishnan (TaxiForSure's co-founder), Phanindra Sama (redBus co-founder), Sumit Jain (CommonFloor co-founder) and Vikas Malpani (CommonFloor co-founder) have also participated in this latest round.

"Unacademy presents a great example of the beginnings of an incredible shift in India's Internet - the ability of millions of new internet users using smartphones as their only access device to create and consume high quality curated educational content as easily as laying hands on a textbook," Business Standard quoted Karthik Reddy, Managing Partner at Blume Ventures, as saying.

Times of India quoted Sachin Bansal, executive chairman at Flipkart, as saying, "Education and learning from the best-suited teachers and professionals is a global problem, which we believe Unacademy solves seamlessly with its interactive and intuitive content. In a short span of eight months, the founding team has proved that leveraging technology to empower its educators and students is a problem that can be solved effectively at scale."

The education tech space is the most looked after as the likes of Sequoia Capital-backed Byju raising $70 million in one of the largest investment rounds for an education company earlier this year. However, EduKart, Vedantu, flipClass, CueMath, Toppr, Simplilearn, and Vidyanext are some of the startups in the ed-tech space.

Unacademy - future of online education?

Founded by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh, and Sachin Gupta in 2015, Unacademy is an online learning platform with 130 educators teaching 200 courses. Munjal and Singh were previously running Flatchat which was acquired by CommonFloor in 2014.Munjal also says that they are likely to hire 10 more members to the current team comprising 14 members. Unacademy plans to utilise the funds to develop its product into delivering online education content more seamlessly and hiring top talent, TOI reported.

Unacademy is also in the process of launching an app for educators to generate more expert content. TOI quoted Munjal as saying, "We are really strong in UPSC preparations as a subject and have 2,500 people transacting for that in 48 hours. We are planning to add more courses as we figure out ways to monetise the platform."

According to a report in VCCircle, the startup began as an educational YouTube channel by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh and Sachin Gupta and in January, they launched their free learning platform Unacademy.in.

Using videos that are usually 10-minutes long, the online platform creates video courses and educators are selected on the basis of experience. Students can access these videos for free.

Business Standard quoted Gaural Munjal as saying, "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.

The online platform claims to have more than 3,00,000 students for 2,400 online lessons. It claims to have received close to 25 million views till date on its video channel, VCCircle reported.

First published: 24 August 2016, 5:02 IST