Sequoia, Nexus & SAIF hike stakes in online learning platform Unacademy

Sequoia, Nexus & SAIF hike stakes in online learning platform Unacademy
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3 Sep, 2018

Early-stage VC firm WaterBridge Ventures has exited its investment in Unacademy after selling its stake in the online learning platform to marquee investors Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners and SAIF Partners. 

WaterBridge managing partner Manish Kheterpal told TechCircle that his firm had made 5x returns on its investment and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 150%.

Venture capital firms typically chase an IRR of 25-30% in local currency terms.

WaterBridge had invested $1 million in Unacademy in 2016. It is believed to have held a 5% stake in the company.

"Given Unacademy was the first investment from our fund, and that we saw an opportunity to lock-in attractive venture returns, we decided to exit through a secondary sale," said Kheterpal. 

Kheterpral did not divulge further financial details about the transaction while Unacademy did not respond to queries response till the time of publishing this report.

The secondary sale was first reported by The Economic Times.

Last month, existing investors Sequoia, Nexus and SAIF had contributed to Unacademy’s Series C round of funding.

Blume Ventures had also participated in the $21-million investment.

WaterBridge Ventures, which typically participates in seed and Series A rounds, has so far backed at least 10 tech-focused companies across various sectors. 

Its most recent investments include LetsMD, a fintech startup in the healthcare space, and ed-tech startup Doubtnut. Its earlier investments were online lending platform ZipLoan and hyperlocal discovery and rewards platform Magicpin.

Unacademy, run by Sorting Hat Technologies Pvt. Ltd, was founded in 2016 by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh and Sachin Gupta as an educational YouTube channel. It provides free video content for various entrance examinations on its platform.

Munjal and Singh previously ran Flatchat, which was acquired by real estate portal CommonFloor in 2014. Saini was an Indian Administrative Service officer, and holds an MBBS degree from the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences.

Last September, the company had raised $11.5 million (Rs 73 crore) in a Series B round led by Sequoia Capital India and SAIF Partners.

In January 2017, Nexus and Blume led a $4.5-million funding round in Unacademy. Its other investors include Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma.