Softbank’s investment pushes edtech start-up Unacademy into unicorn league in India, says GlobalData

On the back of US$150m fundraising lead by Japan’s Softbank, Bengaluru-based edtech start-up Unacademy became the latest player to join the league of unicorns in India, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The funding round, which was announced on 2 September 2020, has put the valuation of Unacademy at US$1.5bn, a three-fold jump from the last funding round in February when it was valued at a little more than US$500m.

The latest funding round, led by Softbank, also saw participation of other investors such as General Atlantic, Nexus Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, Blume Ventures and Facebook.

Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Several areas or companies with clear value proposition and enhanced relevance during this COVID-19 pandemic are witnessing renewed interest. Edtech is one such area, which has been gaining significance with enhanced use of online platforms and investors are also seeing it as a promising area. Edtech companies such as Unacademy have been successful in raising sizeable funding in 2020, which is also a testimony to growing investor traction in this space.”

Unacademy is the second Indian edtech startup after Byju’s to enter into the unicorn club in India. It has a vast network comprising more than 350,000 subscribers and 18,000 teachers and the fresh injection of capital will enable it to recruit fresh talent and expand its service offerings.

Mr Bose concludes: “The birth of a new unicorn in India amidst the concerns that the government’s efforts to curb Chinese investments may have a detrimental impact on the country’s start-up ecosystem makes it even more significant. Interestingly, the latest investment in Unacademy does not involve any Chinese investor.”

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