Unacademy Acquires NeoStencil to Strengthen Test Prep Stronghold
By: Ashwathy Nair
Unacademy, which is the second most valued Edtech Company of India, has been successful in hitting another acquisition deal before the year 2020 ends. The SoftBank and Facebook-backed firm has acquired test prep startup NeoStencil for an amount that is not disclosed. The co-founder and CEO of Unacademy, Gaurav Munjal tweeted that “NeoStencil offers 500+ courses to millions of students. And it is believed that together, a huge impact can be created and can build products that would help learners to crack their goals”. The latest acquisition will help in strengthening Unacademy, the online learning platform for cracking competitive exams and growth in the test prep segment of India’s edtech sector.
Unacademy was created in the year 2010 as a YouTube channel and later it was incorporated as a company in the year 2015, so far it has been successful in making six acquisitions. The first purchases were started with Kreatyrx in 2020 that helped in offering products that include online test series, postal courses, video courses, and coaching classes for aspirants of GATE and SSC CGL.
Unacademy acquired serial entrepreneur and billionaire Bhavin Turakhia’s CodeChef in June for programmers to learn competitive programming. Following month, it also acquired an online platform, PrepLadder for preparation of medical entrance exam for $50 million. Additionally, in September it bought Coursavy, which is a UPSC CSE preparation platform. Along with that, in July through strategic investment of $5 million, it bought a majority stake of 51 per cent in Mastree, which is an online platform made for kids to sharpen their communication skills.
However, the first acquisition of Unacademy was WiFiStudy, a platform built for government exams. Munjal stated that “Unacademy’s mission is to democratise knowledge as well as to set out firmly towards that goal, there is a long way to go.”
This year in September, Unacademy was catapulted to the unicorn club following a $150 million funding round that was led by the SoftBank valuing at $1.45 billion. It secured another round from Tiger Global and Dragoneer Investment Group in November in order to ramp up its valuation of $2 billion. In February, this year, $110 million was raised by Unacademy from Facebook, General Atlantic and others at a valuation of around $510 million.
As per Statista, in the online education space, Unacademy has gradually turned into the largest startup following the K-12 segment focused Byju’s valued at $12 billion. Over 1.5 lakh monthly live classes were claimed by the startup. In the year 2021, in India, the value of the test prep market in the edtech segment is likely to be worth $515 million, up from $43 million in the year 2016 at a compound annual growth rate of 64 per cent.