In Startup50 2016:For building India’s largest free education platform with 2400 courses and 300,000 students
Founders: Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh And Sachin Gupta
For every social entrepreneur building a product or a service in India, the dream is to give its customers access to crucial amenities with a ladle of affordability and unyielding quality. While this dream remains a dream for many, one startup decided to take the horse by its reigns and deliver online education at no cost to learners, earning revenues merely on a pay-as- you-wish model or in Indian terms, a Guru-Dakshina model.
Enter, Unacademy. Founded in 2015 by four entrepreneurs, Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh, and Sachin Gupta, Unacademy, in the last six months alone, has served over 3,00,000 students through 2,400 courses. The company has raised a total of US $1.5 million in two rounds of funding from Blume Ventures, Stanford Angels India, WaterBridge Ventures, Traxcn Labs, and individuals such as Sachin and Binny Bansal (Flipkart) and Kunal Shah (Freecharge) as key investors in its business, among others. Its founders are clear that revenues will continue to take a back seat, while extension of courses on the platform will take the lead.
With the belief that classroom education in India has stifled many brilliant minds, Unacademy’s founders initially rolled out the idea in a series of YouTube videos, which they eventually pivoted to an online learning platform. The startup now hosts specialised courses on the platform, on its Android and iOS app, which can help students crack competitive exams, improve their ability to speak and write better, and gain in-depth knowledge on various subjects.
The Value Game
The next natural question would be, how do they vouch for the quality of tutors on the platform? The startup claims to take each tutor through an interview and selection process, before they can create content on the platform. And, during the course of creating a learning methodology, the Unacademy team works alongside the tutor. Of course, its star badge happens to be the likes of the Governor of Pondicherry and Kiran Bedi, India’s first woman IPS officer teaching on the platform.
With over 100 tutors on board, the startup’s next steps are to add at least 4,000 courses on the platform by end of 2016, and realise its dream of providing quality education that cuts across sects.
US $1.5 Million
(Funding raised so far from Blume Ventures, Stanford Angels India, Traxcn Labs, and individuals such as Sachin and Binny Bansal (Flipkart) and Kunal Shah (Freecharge), among others)
(Number of tutors on the platform)
(Target for total number of courses on the platform by 2016 end)