SoftBank joins India's online education boom with startup funding

Ed-tech start-up Unacademy raises $150 million joins elite unicorn club

Ed-tech start-up Unacademy raises $150 million joins elite unicorn club

Edtech firm Unacademy on Wednesday said it has raised an investment of $150 million (approximately Rs 1,098 crore) in a round led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, increasing the Bengaluru-based firm's valuation to $1.45 billion.

Moneycontrol was the first to report, on July 13, that SoftBank was in talks to back Unacademy whose existing investors Sequoia Capital, Facebook, General Atlantic, Blume Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners also participated in the round. "Our goal always has been to democratise knowledge and make it more affordable and accessible by getting the best experts in the world to help everyone achieve their goals", Munjal wrote on the microblogging site. "At Unacademy, we are breaking that barrier and helping people achieve their life's most important goals by giving them access to the best coaching from experts in the field", said Gaurav Munjal, Co-Founder and CEO, Unacademy.

SoftBank made its investment through Vision Fund 2, a vehicle now funded entirely by the Japanese group. Ltd, Unacademy was established by Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh in 2015.

The growing valuation of Unacademy - which was valued at over $400 million in February this year when it closed its Series E financing round - comes as education startups report massive growth in their usage.

Thailand's king reconciles with ousted consort
Three months later, the king took her titles away, citing "misbehavior and disloyalty" and accusing her of acting like the queen. Protesters are demanding the scrapping of a royal defamation law - which can see people jailed for up to 15 years per charge.

Unacademy has a network of over 18,000 educators and 3.5 lakh paid subscribers. The company prepares students for more than 35 competitive exams.

Unacademy plans to utilize the funds to launch new products and grow the organisation. "They are truly democratising education in India and we look forward to helping them scale up even further", said Sumer Juneja, partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers.

SoftBank's initial Vision Fund totaling almost $100 billion has invested in Zuoyebang, a Chinese online education startup.

SoftBank has already deployed $10 billion across Indian startups, including OYO, Grofers, Lenskart, Delhivery, FirstCry, Ola, PayTM, and PolicyBazaar. It has, however, been going slow on investments globally after the WeWork debacle.

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