Facebook-backed edtech unicorn Unacademy’s acquisition spree continues with TapChief purchase

By: |
February 16, 2021 4:51 PM

Once a YouTube channel, Unacademy had turned unicorn in September last year with a $150-million investment round led by SoftBank amid Covid-induced growth in the edtech market.

SoftBank and Facebook-backed Unacademy has been the most prolific acquirer of edtech startup in the recent past.(Representational image: IE)

The edtech segment is set to become fiercer ahead as SoftBank and Facebook-backed India’s second most valuable edtech unicorn Unacademy continues to focus on driving growth inorganically. The company, which has been on an acquisition spree since last year with five buyouts in 2020, announced its latest deal on Tuesday. Unacademy has now acquired professional networking platform TapChief at a valuation of Rs 100 crore. Once a YouTube channel, Unacademy was incorporated as a company in 2015 and had made its first acquisition — online study platform for government exams – WiFiStudy in 2018. The company had turned unicorn in September last year with a $150-million investment led by SoftBank amid Covid-induced growth in the edtech market and currently competes with Byju’s, Toppr, Vedantu, etc.

Unacademy has bought a majority stake in TapChief, which allowed businesses and professionals to connect with experts on-demand, providing exit to all existing investors. The company had over 1.5 lakh professionals on its platform. “Our endeavour at Unacademy has always been to democratise education and make learning accessible and affordable for everyone. TapChief shares a similar ethos in a different space, as evident from the open community of professionals and learners they’ve created,” Gaurav Munjal, Co-Founder and CEO, Unacademy Group said in a statement. Four-year-old TapChief catered to more than 150 enterprise customers across sectors such as education, FMCG, e-commerce, enterprise SaaS, etc. The company was launched by BITS Pilani Alumni, Shashank Murali, Binay Krishna, and Arjun Krishna.

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Unacademy had acquired Kreatyrx in March 2020 that offered products including online test series, video courses, postal courses, and coaching classes for GATE and SSC CGL aspirants. In June, it bought serial entrepreneur and billionaire Bhavin Turakhia’s CodeChef for programmers to learn competitive programming. Unacademy further acquired PrepLadder – an online platform for medical entrance exam preparation for $50 million and later it bought UPSC CSE prep platform Coursavy in September. It had also acquired test prep startup NeoStencil for an undisclosed amount in December. Unacademy claimed having a network of over 49,000 registered ‘educators’ and over 40 million learners and was backed by Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, General Atlantic, Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital, and Blume Ventures as well in the past. The latest deal by Unacademy came amid media reports of Byju’s looking to acquire Toppr for up to $150 million.

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