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Test-prep platform Unacademy raises $50 mn in Series D funding round
(L to R), Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh and Gaurav Munjal, Co-founders, Unacademy

Ed-tech platform for competitive exams Unacademy said on Wednesday it has raised $50 million (Rs 346 crore) in a Series D funding round from Steadview Capital, Sequoia Capital India, Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures and others.

Haptik co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Aakrit Vaish, and Udaan co-founder Sujeet Kumar also participated in the round. Unacademy founders Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini also put in money, the company said in a statement.

Unacademy, run by Sorting Hat Technologies Pvt. Ltd, was founded as an educational YouTube channel in 2016 by Munjal, Saini, Hemesh Singh and Sachin Gupta.

The startup said it will use the fresh capital to onboard more educators, fuel growth across multiple exam categories and build a world-class product and team.

Unacademy helps educators create lessons on the Educator App, which learners access via the Learning App. It has more than 10,000 educators and 13 million learners, the company said. The ed-tech startup also recently launched Unacademy Plus, a subscription model, which offers students unlimited access to live courses. The company claims that more than 50,000 learners have subscribed to Unacademy Plus since its launch. 

"We have more than 400 top educators from across the country taking live classes every day on Unacademy Plus," said Munjal, co-founder and CEO, Unacademy. "This is available to every student, irrespective of their location," he added.

Last year, early stage venture capital WaterBridge Ventures, which had invested $1 million in Unacademy in 2016, exited with a return of five times on its investment.

The exit was made possible by the $21 million (Rs 144 crore) investment from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners and SAIF Partners as part of Series C round of funding. Blume had also contributed to the funding round.

Deals in the ed-tech segment

The online learning and ed-tech segment has attracted considerable investor interest of late.

The valuation of ed-tech firm Byju’s crossed $5 billion after it raised $31.3 million in March in a round of funding led by existing investors General Atlantic and Tencent Holdings.  

In December last year , Byju’s announced that it had secured $540 million (Rs 3,855 crore then) in a round led by South African tech conglomerate Naspers.

Around the same time last year, Mumbai-based Toppr Technologies Pvt. Ltd raised $35 million in a Series C funding round from new and existing investors.

Last month, Matrix Partners led a fresh funding round in ed-tech startup Pesto, which runs a career accelerator for software engineering talent in the country.

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