India: Ed-tech firm Unacademy gets $11.5m led by Sequoia, SAIF Partners

Gaurav Munjal, co-founder, Unacademy

Ed-tech startup Unacademy, run by Sorting Hat Technologies Pvt. Ltd, has raised $11.5 million in its Series B round led by venture capital firms Sequoia India and SAIF Partners.

Existing investors and angels including Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures also participated in the round, the company said in a statement.

Unacademy will use the proceeds to accelerate its product and technology as well as scale to other categories including personality development, new languages and job interviews. It will also invest a part of the funding in producing its own knowledge based content with its top educators on the platform.

“Sequoia India is inspired by Unacademy’s vision to create a global platform that enables educators to create content and engage with learners,” said Shailendra Singh, MD, Sequoia Capital.

“Unacademy democratises access to personalised learning by connecting educators and students directly on its platform. We believe it has the potential to disrupt the status quo that limits access to quality education at a global level. With very limited investment, the team has built a strong brand and word-of-mouth reputation,” said Alok Goel, MD, SAIF Partners.

Early this year, the Bangalore-based company Unacademy had secured $4.5 million in Series A funding led by Nexus Venture Partners and existing investor Blume Venture. Freshdesk CEO Girish Mathrubootham and Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan, as well as the Stanford Angels also participated in the round.

Online learning platform Unacademy was founded by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh and Sachin Gupta. Last month, the company appointed Bhavin Turakhia, co-founder of Directi, on its board as a director.

India’s online education market is expected to grow to $1.96 billion and about 9.6 million users by 2021 from $247 million and about 1.6 million users in 2016, according to a report by KPMG and Google Inc published in May.

In the ed-tech space, in July, Byju’s acquired global education company Pearson Plc.’s TutorVista and Edurite for an undisclosed amount. In February, Gurgaon-based edtech startup Edurev received $40,000 from Facebook‘s FbStart programme.

Also Read:

India: Edtech startup Byju’s buys Pearson’s TutorVista, Edurite in global expansion push
Exclusive: Indonesian edtech startup Ruangguru closes series B

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.