Indian edtech PhysicsWallah turns into unicorn with $100 million Sequence A 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 hitch the South Asian nation’s fast-growing unicorn membership.

PW, or PhysicsWallah, has raised $100 million in its Sequence 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).

In contrast to its larger rivals — Byju’s and Unacademy — that levy a payment as excessive as tens of 1000’s of {dollars} for a course, PW expenses college students as little as $4 and in response to an individual accustomed to 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 govt of PW, in a press release. “Our income grew 9-fold within the yr 2021-2022 vis-a-vis 2020-2021. Our present run charge for FY 2023 is at $65 million,” he added.

“Since its inception, we now have centered on delivering high-quality schooling with affordability on the forefront, making certain that learners from all walks of life can proceed their greater schooling 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 lower their workforces in current 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 taped out with solely few alternatives left. So it ought to come as little shock that PW was certainly one of the most well liked offers that many VCs have been chasing for a number of quarters.

PW, which runs each on-line and offline lessons, has gained a large recognition 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 point out 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 instructional content material in the shape 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 not less than one scholar in six medical and one in ten 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 instructional content material in 9 vernacular languages, together with Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Odia, Malayalam and Kannada. It additionally plans to deploy the recent 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 imagine the flowers are only 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 Accomplice at GSV Ventures, in a press release.

“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 govt PrateekMaheshwari, the corporate is disrupting the take a look at preparation market (right this moment JEE and NEET) delivering low-cost options of the very best high quality with extraordinary studying outcomes for over 6mm college students and rising. GSV Ventures’ mission is for ALL individuals to have equal entry to the long run and PW is delivering on that mission AT SCALE.”

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