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Tiger Global, Steadview, others invest more in Unacademy via secondary deal

Tiger Global, Steadview, others invest more in Unacademy via secondary deal
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
13 Jan, 2021

Edtech firm Unacademy, which joined the unicorn club of startups valued at $1 billion or more last year, on Wednesday said four existing investors purchased shares worth $50 million (Rs 366 crore).

Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, Steadview Capital and General Atlantic bought the shares from other existing investors, said Unacademy in a statement, without identifying them.

Unacademy's earliest investors include Blume Ventures, Waterbridge Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Elevation Capital, Sequoia Capital and a clutch of individuals.

In 2018, an executive at early-stage venture capital firm WaterBridge, which had invested $1 million in Unacademy in 2016, had told VCCircle that it exited Unacademy with a return of five times its investment.

Unacademy shot to limelight in September last year after it raised $150 million in a new funding round led by SoftBank, catapulting the edtech company to $1.45 billion valuation. With this, Unacademy became the only other edtech unicorn in India besides Byju's.

Within months of the SoftBank-led funding, it added Tiger Global Management and Dragoneer Investment as investors at a valuation of $2 billion.

Edtech startups have attracted a lot of investor attention over the last few years, and more so last year during the pandemic that forced schools, colleges and universities to shut down.

Byju's, Vedantu, Toppr and Eruditus also received big cheques last year.

Unacademy, operated by Sorting Hat Technologies Pvt Ltd, was set up as an educational YouTube channel in 2016 by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh, and Sachin Gupta.

It helps educators create lessons on the Educator App, which learners access via the Learning App. It has more than 48,000 educators and over 40 million learners across 5,000 cities in 14 languages.

The edtech startup has also been actively making acquisitions.

In December last year, Unacademy bought NeoStencil India Pvt Ltd in its sixth acquisition of 2020.

Other companies it bought include Coursavy, Kreatryx, PrepLadder, Mastree and CodeChef.

Unacademy reported a 294% rise or a fourfold increase in revenue at Rs 86 crore in financial year 2019-20. It also reported a 245% increase in expenses to Rs 386.7 crore in the year. Net loss ballooned 233% to Rs 300 crore during the period, according to data from VCCEdge.