Unacademy ends 2020 with year’s fifth acquisition; buys NeoStencil to strengthen test prep stronghold

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Updated: December 30, 2020 9:58 PM

The latest acquisition will help fortify the growth of Unacademy -- an online learning platform for cracking competitive exams -- in the test prep segment of the edtech sector in India.

Unacademy has made six acquisitions so far in its journey.

India’s second most valued edtech company Unacademy has struck another acquisition deal before ending 2020. The SoftBank and Facebook-backed company has acquired test prep startup NeoStencil for an undisclosed amount, its fifth acquisition this year. “NeoStencil has offers 500+ Courses to millions of students. And we believe together we can create a huge impact and build products that help our Learners crack their goals,” Unacademy co-founder and CEO Gaurav Munjal tweeted on Wednesday. The latest acquisition will help fortify Unacademy — the online learning platform for cracking competitive exams—growth in the test prep segment of edtech sector in India.

Originally launched as a YouTube channel in 2020 and later incorporated as a company in 2015, Unacademy has so far made six acquisitions. Its first purchase of 2020 was 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, Unacademy acquired serial entrepreneur and billionaire Bhavin Turakhia’s CodeChef for programmers to learn competitive programming. Following month, Unacademy had acquired PrepLadder – an online platform for medical entrance exam preparation for $50 million. Further, it had bought UPSC CSE prep platform Coursavy in September. Unacademy had also acquired a majority stake of 51 per cent in Mastree – an online platform for kids to hone communication skills – in July through a strategic investment of $5 million.

Also read: The year that was: The biggest newsmakers of India’s glamourous tech, startup ecosystem who defined 2020

However, Unacademy’s first acquisition was the online study platform for government exams – WiFiStudy — done in 2018. “Our mission at Unacademy is to democratise knowledge and while we have set out firmly towards that goal, we have a long way to go,” added Munjal. Unacademy was catapulted to the unicorn club in September this year following a $150 million funding round led by SoftBank that valued at $1.45 billion. In November, it secured another round from Tiger Global and Dragoneer Investment Group to ramp up its valuation to $2 billion. It had raised $110 million from Facebook, General Atlantic, and others in February this year at a valuation of around $510 million.

Unacademy has gradually turned into the largest startup in the online education space following the K-12 segment focused Byju’s valued at $12 billion. The startup had claimed over 1.5 lakh monthly live classes. The value of the test prep market in the edtech segment in India is likely to be worth $515 million in 2021, up from $43 million in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate of 64 per cent, according to Statista.

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