UNACADEMY BUSINESS MODEL: From Youtubers To EDtech Billionaires


The conventional way of teaching in the classroom is gradually heading towards becoming old. The education system is replacing books and blackboards with online tutorials and tests. Over the past decade, Education Technology (EdTech) has emerged and in India learners from all age groups, demographics are shifting to online learning platforms. Unacademy business model

India with a huge number of young minds and human potential have many learners who don’t have access to a good education because of social, monetary, and geographical components. To solve all this, EdTech companies like Byju’s, Toppr, and Unacademy business model bring in the opportunity for both learners as well as themselves to grow.

During COVID19, the popularity of Online education has increased rapidly as the students had no other option than to shift to Online education platforms to continue their studies. Owing to the present situation, EdTech platforms are on rise. Today we will try to understand the business model of one of the most popular EdTech startups Unacademy.

Unacademy is one of the leading EdTech Platforms in India after becoming a Unicorn, raising $150 Million from SoftBank Vision Fund in September 2020.

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unacademy business model

Gaurav Munjal, founder of the EdTech Platform, while studying engineering from NMIMS, Mumbai started a Youtube Channel which was named Unacademy in 2010. Later he worked with Directi as a software developer and also founded a startup Flat.to, which was acquired by Common Floor.

But the main shift of a Youtube Channel to an EdTech Company took place in 2015 when Hemesh Singh an engineering graduate from Motilal Nehru Institute and Roman Saini a medical graduate who cracked UPSC at the age of 21 joined the initiative.

With the headquarters in Bengaluru, Unacademy helps millions of students with enhanced quality of education from expert Educators contributing to make Unacademy the biggest learning platform in India.

Unacademy with a wide network of more than 47,000 registered Educators and more than 13 million learners, is one of the startups revolutionizing the learning approach of learners from offline to online in India. 

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  • Gaurav Munjal initially started with a Youtube channel with an intention to offer free education to whoever visited this channel.
  • After some time, Hemesh and Roman joined in and all the 3 founders began considering monetizing the education provided by them, this gave birth to Unacademy.
  • They started working on building a learning platform for both educators as well as students that initially offered free classes.
  • Unacademy started working on a different approach by doing some adjustments. They started with introducing a paid subscription, in which they offered live classes to the subscriber which helped in interacting with the educator in real-time.
  • They also offered an ad-free experience to users who have paid a subscription fee. 
  • Unacademy offers multiple packages for their students which include various courses such as spoken English, coding, and entrance exam preparations
  • The EdTech Platform also provides a Premium Version of the Platform named Unacademy Plus, which offers a wide range of courses and more customized services to choose from to the subscriber.
  • The services and courses offered in Unacademy Premium are not available to the users using the unpaid version. 

One of the main reasons for Unacademy to become one of the largest EdTech platforms in India is that they offered classes for the most esteemed and difficult examinations in India including UPSC and CAT.

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unacademy business model

The education system is replacing books and blackboards with online tutorials and tests. Over the past decade, Education Technology (EdTech) has emerged. Here are some competitors of Unacademy helping evolve the Education System in India:

  1. Byju’s: BYJU’S is one of the biggest rivals of Unacademy. BYJU’S was founded in 2008, in Bengaluru, Karnataka. BYJU’S is one of the leading platforms in the E-Learning field. BYJU’S generates $360.4M more revenue than Unacademy.
  2. Khan Academy: Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization focused on giving free education services to its users.
  3. Toppr: Toppr is a test preparation platform designed to particularly support students preparing for various entrance exams in India.
  4. Vedantu: Vedantu is a startup that was founded in Bangalore, Karnataka in 2011. Vedantu competes in the E-Learning field. 

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  • Unacademy is valued at $2 Billion after Tiger Global Management and Dragoneer Investment Group invested in it.
  • The Bengaluru-based EdTech Startup raised $150 Million from SoftBank Vision Fund at a valuation of $1.45 Billion.
  • Unacademy has also raised $110 Million from Facebook and General Atlantic.
  • The Founder Gaurav Munjal said the company had increased its revenue by nearly 9X in the last 12 months.