Unacademy concludes new secondary transaction; Tiger Global, Dragoneer, Steadview, GA buy $50M shares

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Updated: January 13, 2021 6:02 PM

Unacademy turned unicorn in September 2020 following a $150 million funding round led by SoftBank that valued it at $1.45 billion. In November, it had secured another round from Tiger Global and Dragoneer Investment Group to ramp up its valuation to $2 billion.

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

SoftBank and Facebook-backed edtech unicorn Unacademy has concluded a new secondary transaction round with investors including Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, Steadview Capital, and General Atlantic increasing their stake in the company. With the latest round, shares worth $50 million have been acquired from existing investors. The latest transaction has come after the November 2020 round when Tiger Global and Dragoneer Investment Group had backed Unacademy at a $2 billion valuation. Unacademy Group claimed to have over 48,000 educators on its platform and more than 1.5 lakh live classes being conducted every month even as it competes with Byju’s, Toppr, and others.

Unacademy turned unicorn in September 2020 following a $150 million funding round led by SoftBank that valued at $1.45 billion. The company had raised $110 million from Facebook, General Atlantic, and others in February last year at a valuation of around $510 million. Back in 2018, Unacademy had enabled a secondary exit for one of its early investors Waterbridge Ventures that had put around $1 million in the company in 2016. The fund had sold its stake to Sequoia, Nexus, and Elevation Capital (erstwhile SAIF Partners).

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The company has been on an acquisition tear, buying five companies in 2021 amid the Covid pandemic that had provided great tailwinds not just Unacademy but the entire edtech ecosystem to acquire maximum customers at much lesser acquisition cost. Unacademy had most recently, in December, acquired test prep startup NeoStencil. Its first purchase of 2020 was Kreatyrx in March 2020 followed by Bhavin Turakhia’s CodeChef in June, PrepLadder in July, and Coursavy in September. It had also acquired a majority stake in the online platform for kids to hone communication skills – Mastree.

The latest secondary sale at Unacademy comes amid Amazon India’s formal launch of its test prep app Amazon Academy that helps class 11 and 12 students with IIT JEE coaching for entrance to engineering colleges. Unacademy too offers IIT JEE courses along with personal coach and test analysis. Amazon had forayed into India’s edtech market in 2019 with its JEE Ready app and had later rebranded it as Amazon Academy. Unacademy has raised $348 million in funding so far across nine rounds, as per Crunchbase.

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