India’s PhysicsWallah turns into unicorn with $100 million funding

An Indian edtech startup that has made deep inroads in smaller Indian cities and cities with its low-cost studying choices is the most recent to affix the South Asian nation’s fast-growing unicorn membership.

PW, or PhysicsWallah, has raised $100 million in its Collection A funding, the worthwhile startup mentioned Tuesday. Westbridge and GSV Ventures financed the startup’s maiden institutional spherical, which values the two-year-old agency at $1.1 billion (post-money).

Not like its greater rivals — Byju’s and Unacademy — that levy a payment as excessive as tens of 1000’s of {dollars} for a course, PW prices college students as little as $4 and in keeping with an individual conversant in the matter, has amassed tens of 1000’s of paying subscribers.

“The corporate has been worthwhile since inception with constructive money flows and reserves,” mentioned Alakh Pandey, founder and chief government of PW, in an announcement. “Our income grew ninefold within the 12 months 2021-2022 vis-a-vis 2020-2021. Our present run fee for FY 2023 is at $65 million,” he added.

“Since its inception, we now have targeted on delivering high-quality training with affordability on the forefront, making certain that learners from all walks of life can proceed their greater training and enhance their profession trajectory with none hassles,” he added.

The startup’s success comes at a time when a number of established edtech gamers are struggling and have minimize their workforces in latest weeks.

PW characterize a broader shift within the Indian startup ecosystem. The city India – or “India1,” as enterprise capitalist Sajith Pai categorizes it, seems to have largely been tapped out with solely few alternatives left. So it ought to come as little shock that PW was one of many hottest offers that many VCs have been chasing for a number of quarters.

PW, which runs each on-line and offline lessons, has gained broad reputation on YouTube, the place it has amassed practically 7 million subscribers. Its lecturers — together with Pandey — have a big and dependable fanbase on Google’s platform the place they publish free movies to indicate their admiration for PW and in addition generally amusingly mock different edtech platforms, who they allege are within the enterprise for the “cash.”

“With the assistance of PW’s complete, interactive and fascinating academic content material within the type of lectures, movies and notes, 10,000+ college students have cracked aggressive exams like NEET and JEE in 2020 and 2021. The platform proudly boasts that a minimum of one scholar in six medical and one in 10 engineering faculties in India are PW alumni,” PW mentioned.

The startup, which employs over 1,900 people together with 500 lecturers and over 200 affiliate professors who reply scholar queries, is working to launch academic content material in 9 vernacular languages, together with Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Odia, Malayalam and Kannada. It additionally plans to deploy the contemporary funds to open extra bodily studying centres.

“Whereas many pundits say that the bloom is off the rose for Indian edtech, we at GSV Ventures consider the flowers are simply starting to bloom as extraordinary entrepreneurs are democratizing studying and expertise supply for the 90% of India nonetheless untouched by the edtech revolution,” mentioned Deborah Quazzo, managing companion at GSV Ventures, in an announcement.

“One such firm is PW (PhysicsWallah), which we’re proud to be co-leading its first spherical of funding with WestBridge. Led by famend YouTube STEM educator, Alakh Pandey and tech government Prateek Maheshwari, the corporate is disrupting the check preparation market (right now JEE and NEET) delivering low-cost options of the very best high quality with extraordinary studying outcomes for over 6 million college students and rising. GSV Ventures’ mission is for ALL folks to have equal entry to the longer term and PW is delivering on that mission AT SCALE.”

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