Unacademy buys NeoStencil in sixth acquisition this year
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Education-technology unicorn Unacademy has struck its sixth acquisition of the year, deepening its reach in the test-preparation segment. 

The company has bought NeoStencil India Pvt Ltd.

The acquisition will help Unacademy increase its footprint in Tier-II and Tier-III cities in the country, it said in a statement. The two firms did not disclose the financial details of the transaction.

NeoStencil was set up in 2014 by Kush Beejal – who will continue to run the company following the acquisition – and Love Beejal.

The startup has developed an asset-light and scalable model that leverages technology to solve education accessibility-related issues for students and teachers. It says it has so far helped more than 100 coaching centres to go live, with over 15,000 paying students having used its platform as well.

In February 2017, VCCircle exclusively reported that NeoStencil had raised $1 million (around Rs 6.67 crore) in a funding round led by Brand Capital, the ad-for-equity arm of the Times Group. 91Springboard, M&S Partners Pvt. Ltd founder Hirokazu Mashita and Jabong co-founder Praveen Sinha also took part in this round.

Prior to that, the edtech firm had raised $60,000 (Rs 38 lakh) in May 2015 from Paragon Trust and US-based entrepreneur Dr Piyush Dhanuka. It is not currently clear what returns investors in NeoStencil have made from exiting the company.

Also in 2017, NeoStencil acquired analytics-based test practice portal TestCafe to improve its capabilities and enhance competitive examination practice and preparedness among students. NeoStencil reported net sales of Rs 7.41 crore for the 2018-19 financial year.

The acquisition is the latest for Unacademy this year. Other companies it bought include Coursavy, Kreatryx, PrepLadder, Mastree and CodeChef.

The latest buy also comes just a month after the Bengaluru-based edtech firm raised an undisclosed sum from Tiger Global Management and Dragoneer Investment Group, taking its valuation to $2 billion (Rs 14,781 crore). In September, Unacademy raised $150 million (Rs 1,094 crore) in a round led by SoftBank.

Unacademy was set up as an educational YouTube channel in 2016 by Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh, and Sachin Gupta.

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