They are reshaping the face of how India educates herself. The trio of Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh needs no fancy introduction.
They are all over the map, far and wide. “In a young country where only privileged urban Indians with a lot of money could reach exam prep experts, Unacademy has democratized knowledge,” said Gaurav in an interview.
Bangalore-based Unacademy. Gaurav Munjal, in his engineering days, started Unacademy as a hobby on YouTube in 2010 where he would provide Java coding lessons.
De facto, he was one of the most-followed people on Quora for questions about computer science.
Before launching Unacademy, Gaurav founded and sold two other startups. In 2015, under the parent company Sorting Hat Technologies Pvt., Gaurav, along with co-founders Hemesh Singh and Roman Saini registered Unacademy as a brand.
The edtech platform offered free classes during its initial years and rolled out its subscription-based model in 2019.
Today the platform offers courses and lectures for several competitive exams including CAT, JEE, NEET, CLAT, UPSC CSE/IAS, IBPS/SBI, RRB, along with video classes on various subjects.
Along with the video content, Unacademy has live-class sessions which provides them with an edge to query teachers or exchange notes with each other.
Furthermore, every fourth class is dedicated to taking student questions and scheduling mock-tests every weekend.
Courses range from $20 a month for exam preparation for government-owned banks or Indian railways to $150 a month for the tests to enter civil service jobs or elite engineering schools. It’s expanded into pastry-making classes and chess tutorials.
- In 6 months, over 300,000 students have benefited from over 2,400 online lessons and specialised courses on cracking various competitive examinations, on Unacademy’s platform
- onboard some of the top educators in the country, including Kiran Bedi, India’s first woman IPS officer
- Have reached in the remotest corners of the country with over 2 million views every month
Gaurav Munjal – CO-FOUNDER & CEO
Product guy who also loves marketing. Sold his first company to CommonFloor. Now building Unacademy.
Roman Saini – CO-FOUNDER & CHIEF EDUCATOR
A doctor from AIIMS, Cleared Civil Service Exam-2013 and became IAS. Loves playing the guitar in his free time.
Hemesh Singh -CO-FOUNDER & CTO
Technology, Design, Travel & Music
“Legends on Unacademy”
One can leaf through life lessons and motivational talks with Unacademy’s top educators via its “Legends on Unacademy” sessions.
The first edition of the program had famous cricketers Brian Lara, Brett Lee, and Jonty Rhodes as educators, talking about their challenges and achievements.
The second edition of “Legends on Unacademy” involved Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, India’s first woman IPS Officer Kiran Bedi, and the star couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma.
Others include Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales, Starbucks co-founder Zev Siegl, entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg and former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly.
Joining the Unicorn Club
Unacademy’s revenue soared 3.19X in FY19 and is predicted to accomplish a market size of $1.96 Bn by 2021.
The company has cultivated around $90 Mn from its investors alongside gaining revenue from its subscription initiatives.
Meanwhile Sorting Hat Technologies has reached INR 21.89 Cr in FY19, as against INR 5.22 Cr in FY18.
Recently, Unacademy raised $150 million in a round in a round led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank valuing it at $1.45 billion, a three-fold jump in just six months.
This also makes the Bengaluru-based firm the second unicorn in the country’s edtech space after Byju’s.
Existing investors General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Facebook, and Blume Ventures also participated in the round.
Unacademy said it plans to utilise the funds to launch new products and build a world-class team and organisation.
Unacademy now claims to have become the largest learning platform in India with a network of over 18,000 educators and over 350,000 subscribers.
The company caters to the learning needs for more than 35 competitive exams, besides important life goals.