One of the sectors to get a fillip while economies around the globe shutdown overnight due to COVID-19 has been the online learning space. Unacademy is leaving nothing to chance and is now seeking to raise $150 million and finding a spot at the 'Unicorn Club'.
Sources told Moneycontrol, while terms of the deal are in discussion phase, Unacademy could raise over $150 million in this round, making it the latest entrant to India’s unicorn club, or privately held startups seeking a valuation of over a billion dollars.
Unacademy allows educators to create videos for courses from school level learning to college entrance exams across streams, besides for more advanced courses such as civil service exams and MBA entrance tests.
Co-founder and CEO Gaurav Munjal did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Unacademy raised $110 million in February this year led by private equity firm General Atlantic and social media giant Facebook. General Atlantic is also an investor in Byju’s- currently India’s largest online learning firm valued by Tiger Global at about $8 billion.
Its other investors include Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures and SAIF Partners.
Unacademy, run by Sorting Hat Technologies Pvt. Ltd, was founded by Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh. It began as a YouTube channel before distributing content on its own platform.
Coronavirus' has forced governments to shift focus on online education. Unacademy, too, has seen a spurt in revenue and growth in the past year after it started monetising Unacademy Plus.
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In a tweet in April, CEO Munjal said Unacademy's revenue for the month was more than all of 2017, 2018 and the first half of 2019 combined.
On February 1, he said the startup was recording an annualised revenue run rate (ARR) of $30 million.
The valuation Unacademy is commanding stems from the COVID-19 crisis where online education has gained the maximum in the absence of physical school and college classes.
"Gaurav believes that Unacademy could be not just India’s largest online education startup but its largest consumer internet startup. That scale of vision is driving a lot of the valuation expectations and investor aggression,” said a person close to Munjal, requesting anonymity.