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Flipkart, Paytm founders back ed-tech startup Unacademy

24 August, 2016

Sorting Hat Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs educational-technology platform Unacademy, has raised Rs 6.7 crore ($1 million) from a clutch of investors including Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

The Economic Times, which first reported the development, said the round was led by Blume Ventures. Stanford Angels India, WaterBridge Ventures and Traxcn Labs also put money.

The firm’s earlier backers such as former Flipkart executive Sujeet Kumar, TaxiForSure co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishnan and Phanindra Sama of redBus also invested in this round.

The startup will use the money to develop apps and products and hire employees.

Email queries to the company and the investors didn’t elicit any immediate response.

Unacademy enables educators to create video courses of not more than 10 minutes on its platform. The educators are selected on the basis of experience and an interview. Students can access these videos for free.

The startup began as an educational YouTube channel by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh and Sachin Gupta. In January, they launched their free learning platform Unacademy.in.

Munjal and Singh were previously running Flatchat, which was acquired by housing portal CommonFloor in 2014. Saini is a doctor by profession.

The startup, which claims to have more than 300,000 students for 2,400 online lessons, counts former IPS officer and current Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi and IAS topper Tina Dabi among its former students. It claims to have received close to 25 million views till date on its video channel.

It raised $500,000 (Rs 3.3 crore then) in an angel round of funding in May led by Blume Ventures.

Unacademy is among several ed-tech startups that have caught investors’ attention this year. In March, tutorial company Byju’s raised $75 million from Sequoia India and Belgian investment firm Sofina in the largest deal in this segment till date. Byju’s said in July it was set to secure $50 million more from investors.

Among other ed-tech startups, Oliveboard has raised funding from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation while CollegeDekho.com, run by GirnarSoft Education Services Pvt. Ltd, has raised $2 million in its pre-Series A funding round from London-based Man Capital LLP. 

Financial services and analytics education startup Imarticus Learning has raised $1 million. In late February, ed-tech firm Carveniche Technologies Pvt. Ltd secured angel funding from Calcutta Angels, Lead Angels and a bunch of wealthy individuals.

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Flipkart, Paytm founders back ed-tech startup Unacademy

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