Edtech unicorn Unacademy, on Wednesday, announced its foray into offline learning with its upcoming ‘Unacademy Centres’, which will offer classes to NEET-UG, IT JEE and Foundation (9-12) aspirants. The start-up said that its offline learning centres will facilitate both learners and educators across these course categories. The first Unacademy Centre will be operational in Kota by next month, followed by similar touchpoints in Jaipur, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Patna, Pune and Delhi.
The start-up also plans to conduct a national scholarship admission test for batch enrollments where rankers would be provided with scholarships.The edtech start-up said in a statement that offline batches will enroll learners with access to top educators, pedagogy and study material curated in-house. In addition, offline learning centres will also provide in-person mentorship and doubt solving, and regular parent-educator sessions supported by high-tech infrastructure.
Across Unacademy centres, the brand aims to enroll up to 15,000 learners in the first batch.“Our experiential touchpoints – Unacademy World has seen tremendous response from learners, many of whom have also expressed the need for in-person learning from the best educators. With ‘Unacademy Centres’ we will bring the best of Unacademy —India’s top educators, best-in-class technology and product, and state-of-the-art infrastructure for our learners,” Gaurav Munjal, co-founder and CEO, Unacademy Group, said in a statement.Its first leaning centre in Kota is an 18,000 sq ft space that is spread across four floors.
Complementing the organised schedule of offline classes by top educators, learners will have access to on-ground counsellors, a state-of-the-art library and brand merchandise at all these centres.Founded in 2015 by Gaurav Munjal, Hemesh Singh and Roman Saini, Unacademy originally began as a YouTube channel that was created by Munjal in 2010. What started as a side project for Munjal turned into an established company, after his education content posted high viewership. Currently, it is one of India’s largest edtech start-ups with a valuation of $3.4 billion in its last funding round in August 2021.
Unacademy currently has a growing network of over 91,000 registered educators and over 92 million learners. In the past Unacademy has acquired companies such as Graphy, Relevel, PrepLadder TapChief, CodeChef, and many other edtech brands over the years.However, lately, consumer internet start-ups have been struggling to raise funds at higher valuations as investors have turned cautious after the meltdown of tech stocks such as Zomato and Paytm in the public markets.
In the edtech segment, start-ups including Vedantu, Lido Learning and Unacademy itself have laid off thousands of employees collectively to keep costs under check.As schools and colleges began re-opening offline classes starting this year, edtech start-ups in the country have begun turning to offline classes in search of fresh revenue. However, there has been a massive uptick in demand for live and online classes, following the Covid lockdowns in 2020 and in 2021, which earlier promoted investors to pump in millions into the edtech industry in India.
Unacademy’s biggest rival Byju’s had also earlier announced its foray into offline tuition centres in February this year with a planned investment of up to $200 million. Byju’s had earlier launched 80 offline centres as part of a pilot programme with plans to open at least 500 new centres across 200 cities this year alone.