SoftBank-backed Unacademy, an edtech startup, will be hiving off its programming platform, CodeChef that it acquired in 2020. Starting April, CodeChef will be run independently by its current team, and will no more remain part of the Unacademy Group.
The Gaurav Munjal-led company will, however, continue to hold a 30% stake in the new hived-off company, as an investor, and Unacademy has also infused an initial capital that will help CodeChef ensure business as usual (BAU) for the next 12-18 months. The amount invested could not be immediately ascertained.
CodeChef was one of the six acquisitions Unacademy made in 2020, when the demand for edtech was red-hot and larger players consolidated their positions by acquiring smaller players and growing multi-fold in the pandemic years. Since 2009, over two million users, from across the globe have participated in over 10,000 algorithmic contests held on CodeChef.
“In the past, we never really focused on the financial viability of CodeChef, but being generously supported by Directi, and later by Unacademy, allowed us to keep doing our work without worrying about the financials,” CodeChef said in a tweet. “But recently, due to the larger global economic slowdown, it has become clear that this cannot continue, and we need to find ways to sustain ourselves. At the same time, till our finances improve, we have to cut back on our costs..,” it added.
“CodeChef will run independently moving forth. I am extremely confident in the team’s ability to make CodeChef 10x bigger,” Munjal tweeted. In the past, even Byju’s has highlighted challenges in scaling up WhiteHat Jr, its coding platform. Reports also suggested Byju’s was looking to shut WhiteHat Jr but the company has dismissed those claims.