Edtech unicorn PhysicsWallah, backed by marquee investors like Westbridge and GSV Ventures, has acquired Jaipur-based doubt-solving and resource management startup, FreeCo for an undisclosed amount.
This marks the Noida-based company’s first acquisition after turning unicorn in June. The company had raised $100 million in its Series A funding round from marquee investors Westbridge and GSV Ventures at a valuation of $1.1 billion.
A unicorn is a privately-held startup with a valuation of $1 billion or more.
With this acquisition, the edtech unicorn looks to boost its existing services and offer better learning experiences to students with more advanced features, a statement said.
The deal also marks the joining of 15 people from FreeCo to PhysicsWallah.
Launched during the pandemic in 2020, PhysicsWallah (PW) aims to prepare students for engineering and medical entrance examinations. Founded by Alakh Pandey and Prateek Maheshwari, PW specializes in giving comprehensive lectures and sessions on YouTube, the PW app, and the website for students aspiring for NEET, JEE Mains.
The edtech platform facilitates interactive educational content in the form of lectures and audio-visual media. In 2020 and 2021, over 10,000 students cracked competitive exams like NEET and JEE.
“We aim to simplify learning for students using advanced tools and technologies, making it more accessible and learner-oriented. We will continue to work towards creating more advanced learning solutions for our users and transforming learning experiences like never before,” said Alakh Pandey, founder and chief executive officer of PhysicsWallah.
FreeCo is a doubt-solving and resource management company in the edtech space. It was founded by Prashant Soni and Nikhil Chaudhary in 2020. The platform aims to provide content services, including text solutions, online tutoring, pen tab video solutions, interactive panel video solutions, and textbook solutions using automation to help students and enhance their learning experience.
The edtech industry, which boomed during the pandemic as teaching moved online, has witnessed a major funding crunch and moderation in valuations with the reopening of educational institutions.
With a focus on conserving costs, several have resorted to mass layoffs and trimming discretionary spending.
Over the past several months, edtech unicorns Byju’s, Unacademy, Vedantu and other smaller players such as Lido Learning, FrontRow, Udayy, and SuperLearn have either fired or asked hundreds of employees to leave as they shut some of their operations to cut costs.
While several edtech platforms like Allen are hustling to adopt to offline models as schools and are gradually colleges returning to classrooms, there are also others who haven’t been so lucky. 2022 saw two edtech companies, Lido Learning and SuperLearn, shutting shop amid multiple crises.
However, the sector has also seen some positive activity. Upskiling platform upGrad, earlier this month, announced a $210 million round from a clutch of new and existing investors.