Gaurav Munjal resets expectations at Unacademy amid edtech reckoning

Gaurav Munjal resets expectations at Unacademy amid edtech reckoning

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Madhav Chanchani

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Aditi Shrivastava

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Madhav Chanchani

105 reads
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Aditi Shrivastava

22 reads

After pursuing a growth-at-all-cost model, Unacademy is changing tack as cash becomes king in the startup world. It is targeting realistic growth while also reducing the cash burn. Will this help it justify the $3.4-billion valuation and attract new investors at a higher figure?

April 28, 2022

8 Min Read

About a year ago, Unacademy CEO Gaurav Munjal was busy preparing the ground for the next big round of funding. The idea was to portray the company as a multi-product proposition, not just an education-technology startup. As immediate examples, he had recruitment app Relevel and creator-focused platform Graphy, which are group companies.

The central theme of Munjal’s pitch, though, remained tied to the education business, driven by test preparation for UPSC (civil services), IIT-JEE and medical colleges, besides Unacademy’s entry into the K-12 tutoring market. 

By the time it announced the fundraising in August 2021, the K-12 business was already its second largest revenue generator. Overall growth was in high gear, and an advertising campaign during the T20 league IPL helped boost the topline. Unacademy also ended up raising $440 million, more than the $300 million-odd it had initially planned. 

But since then, things have changed dramatically, causing resentment internally and puzzling people on the outside. Unacademy, valued at $3.4 billion, has exited the K-12 segment and almost completely scaled back its IPL marketing push despite still being a sponsor. More crucially, it has let go of 600 employees and decided against renewing the contracts of 300 to 400 teachers.

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