UnAcademy Startup Story – History, Founders, Business Model & More


Established in 2015, Unacademy is a leading Edtech company that has revolutionised the way students prepare for various competitive exams, including CAT, JEE, NEET, CLAT, UPSC CSE/IAS, IBPS/SBI, and RRB. Through its online learning platform, Unacademy offers comprehensive courses and engaging video lectures on a wide range of subjects, empowering students to excel in today’s fiercely competitive world.

Unacademy’s journey began as a humble YouTube channel created by visionary individuals Gaurav Munjal and Dheeraj Meena. Recognising the immense potential of online education, they established Unacademy as an education company in Bengaluru in 2015. Since then, the platform has grown exponentially, attracting millions of learners and earning accolades for its innovative approach to education.

In a significant milestone, Unacademy joined the prestigious Unicorn club in September 2020, following a successful funding round of $150 million led by Softbank and supported by existing investors. This recognition further solidifies Unacademy’s position as a trailblazer in the online education space, poised to make a lasting impact on the lives of millions of students.

With Unacademy, learning knows no boundaries. The platform’s vast repository of educational resources and renowned educators transcends geographical barriers, ensuring that students from even the most remote areas have access to high-quality education. 

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Unacademy – Company Highlights

Startup NameUnacademy
HeadquartersBangalore, Karnataka
FoundersGaurav Munjal, Dr. Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh
Parent OrganizationSorting Hat Technologies Private Limited
Total Funding$838.5 Million (2021)
Revenue$464.53 Million in FY21)
Net profit/Net LossLoss – $206.78 million (Rs 1,537.5 crore in FY21)
Valuation$3.44 Billion (November 2021)
Unacademy Websiteunacademy.com

About UnAcademy

Unacademy is an online learning platform that provides educational videos and lectures, making the process of learning and teaching more accessible and convenient. While the official launch of the company took place in 2015, it had its beginnings in 2010 with videos streaming on YouTube.

Since its founding, Unacademy has experienced remarkable growth, attracting over 10,000 educators and amassing a user base of more than 13 million individuals. Hemesh Singh, the Co-founder and CTO of Unacademy, proudly announced that the platform has surpassed 750,000 active paid subscribers. As of April 28, 2022, the number of active subscribers has exceeded 800,000, according to Gaurav Munjal, another co-founder of Unacademy.

Unacademy operates through various platforms, including Unacademy Plus, Chamomile Tea with Toppers, Wifistudy, The Solutionists, Unacademy JEE, and Unacademy Studios. These platforms collectively generate nearly 110 million views every month, solidifying Unacademy’s position as the largest distributor of educational content.

The Unacademy learning app is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows devices, allowing users to easily access the platform from their preferred devices. This accessibility further contributes to the widespread reach and popularity of Unacademy among learners across different platforms and operating systems.

Unacademy Products

Unacademy offers a variety of products and features to cater to different users:

  1. Learner App: Designed for students, the learner app provides access to live and recorded classes, allowing them to learn from the best educators in India.
  2. Educator App: This app empowers educators to create and share their educational content, engaging with students through live sessions, doubt-clearing, and assessments.
  3. Parent App: Unacademy recognises the importance of parental involvement in a student’s education. The parent app enables parents to track their child’s progress, view attendance, and stay updated on their performance.

Unacademy’s instructional approach includes structured syllabi, daily live classes, doubt-clearing sessions, and a range of tests and practice opportunities, ensuring a comprehensive learning experience.

Unacademy and the Edtech Industry

The Indian edtech market has witnessed significant growth in recent years. In 2020, the market size for K-12 education was valued at $1.16 billion, while the skill development market was estimated to be worth less than $500 million. As a whole, the edtech market in India was valued at $2.8 billion. However, this figure is projected to soar to $10.4 billion by 2025, indicating a remarkable growth trajectory.

Unacademy’s Founders and Team

Unacademy was co-founded by Gaurav Munjal, Dr. Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh. Although it initially started as an educational YouTube channel in 2010 under the same name by Gaurav Munjal and Dheeraj Meena, the company was officially registered as an education company, Unacademy, in 2015 in Bengaluru.

Unacademy’s Shareholding

Nexus Venture Partners and Sequoia India are the largest shareholders in Unacademy, each holding a 13.1% stake in the company. Approximately 14.4% of Unacademy shares are allocated to its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Other shareholders include Softbank, General Atlantic, and more. Co-founders Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh collectively retain over 9% stakes in Unacademy.

With its unwavering commitment to transforming education through online learning, Unacademy continues to empower learners and educators, driving positive change in the education landscape.

Unacademy – Impressive Growth and Revenue Generation

Unacademy has rapidly emerged as one of the leading companies in the Edtech space, experiencing remarkable growth and securing substantial funding through various rounds. The company has strategically expanded its presence by acquiring approximately 12 companies, including prominent names such as CodeChef and Coursavy. Currently, Unacademy holds the position of the second most valued ed-tech startup.

The success of Unacademy can be largely attributed to the achievements of its students, particularly those who excel in the most challenging competitive examinations. With a focus on catering to over 32 competitive exams, the company continually strives to broaden its offerings by adding more tests and exams, thereby attracting a larger subscriber base.

Unacademy has garnered significant investments, further fueling its growth trajectory. In a funding round, the company raised $110 million from General Atlantic and Facebook, resulting in a post-money valuation of $510 million. This injection of capital was a significant boost for Unacademy, following early investments from prominent names such as Sequoia Capital India and Steadview Capital. Notably, the company has also secured funding from prestigious sources like SoftBank Vision Fund, Dragoneer Investment Group, Tiger Global Management, and Temasek Holdings in recent years.

The combination of substantial investments, strategic acquisitions, and an expanding range of competitive exams covered has contributed to Unacademy’s impressive growth and revenue generation. The company continues to solidify its position as a key player in the Edtech industry, aiming to further enhance its offerings and support the educational aspirations of learners across the country.

Unacademy Revenue Breakdown

Unacademy Revenue VerticalsFY21FY20
Subscription RevenueINR 380.8 crINR 61.5 cr
Advertising and Other Operating RevenueINR 9.01 crINR 3.2 cr
Sale of Educational MaterialINR 7.92 cr
Financial AssetsINR 66.8 cr