Bengaluru-based Sorting Hat Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates online learning platform Unacademy, has acquired Jaipur-based online education and career portal WiFiStudy in a cash and stock deal, a company statement said.
The acquisition will help Unacademy establish its presence in smaller Indian towns and cities where WiFiStudy has a stronghold. However, the company did not disclose the size of the deal, the statement added.
WiFiStudy will continue to operate independently under the leadership of Dinesh Godara, its co-founder and chief executive, Gaurav Munjal, co-founder and CEO of Unacademy, said.
“In the last few years, we have steadily grown with over 5,000 active educators who are imparting education to millions of learners. Getting WiFiStudy on board just seemed like the logical next step,” Munjal added.
Founded in late 2013 by engineer and MBA graduate Godara, DLB Infotech Pvt. Ltd, which operates WiFiStudy, runs an online study platform for competitive exams like staff selection commission (SSC), insurance and banking, defence, state police services, civil services, railways and others, information on its Google Play Store page shows.
The five-year-old company claims to have over 4.5 million subscribers and 70 monthly video views for its YouTube channels.
“Together, Unacademy, India’s largest learning platform, and WiFiStudy, India’s biggest YouTube channel for competitive exams can create massive impact on the Indian education system,” Godara stated.
Founded in 2015 by Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh and Sachin Gupta, Unacademy started off as an educational YouTube channel providing free video content for various entrance examinations on its platform. Subsequently, it developed two proprietary apps—one for learning called ‘Unacademy Learning App’ and another for teaching called ‘Unacademy Educator App.’
The learning app operates on a freemium model where users can avail both free and paid content, depending upon the course chosen. Its Android app alone claims to have more than five million installs.
Last October, the company launched a paid product called Plus, a private discussion platform with live video classes and personalised classroom experiences by educators. The company said that more than 30 educators were taking paid ‘Plus’ courses on the platform and that since the launch, it had achieved six-fold growth in its monthly revenue.
Unacademy currently claims to have a network of 5,000 active educators, five million learners, offering over 50,000 courses in more than 10 Indian languages.
It also happens to be a significantly funded startup in the ed-tech space, having raised around $38.6 million so far from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures.
In its most recent funding round in July this year, it raised $21 million (Rs 144 crore then) from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners and SAIF Partners.
Last month, Waterbridge Ventures, one of its early investors exited its investment in Unacademy with 5x returns and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 150%.
Recent deals in ed-tech
A number of firms in the broader ed-tech space have received funding recently.
Earlier this month, New Jersey- and Bengaluru-based VideoKen Inc., which runs an eponymous artificial intelligence-powered video-tech platform, raised $930,000 (Rs 6.83 crore at the current exchange rates) from SRI Capital and Touchstone Equities.
Last week, VCCircle had reported that Toppr Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a test preparation platform for students, is raising close to $20 million (Rs 147 crore) as part of a fresh funding round from new and existing investors
Last month, multiple media reports said that Bengaluru-based Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, which operates digital ed-tech venture Byju’s, had raised $100 million from General Atlantic at a $2-billion valuation.
In the same month, Jaipur-based experiential learning startup SRJNA raised an undisclosed amount from social-impact investor Gray Matters Capital’s edLABS initiative, angel network Keiretsu Forum and SucSEED Venture Partners.
In August, California and Bengaluru-based ed-tech startup Quizizz Inc., which specialises in gamified learning for students, raised $3 million (Rs 20.6 crore) in a round led by Nexus Venture Partners.