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Startups

Facebook takes part in Indian edtech startup's $110m funding round

With 90,000 subscribers, Bengaluru-based Unacademy valued at $510m

Unacademy says it has over 10,000 educators and more than one million videos on its platform. (Screenshot of the company's website)

NEW DELHI -- Bengaluru-based edtech startup Unacademy has raised $110 million in a Series E funding round led by Facebook and global private equity company General Atlantic.

Existing investors Sequoia India, Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital and Blume Ventures participated in the round, as did Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart, and Sujeet Kumar, co-founder of Udaan, according to a company statement released on Wednesday. Udaan is a business-to-business platform for small and medium-size businesses.

The round reportedly valued Unacademy at $510 million. According to the statement, Unacademy also provided exits to some of its angel investors.

The edtech startup said it will use the funding proceeds to further penetrate the test preparation categories, launch more exam categories, acquire top educators and create "exceptional" learning experiences.

"With this investment in Unacademy, we are reinforcing our commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem as well as investing in a company that is transforming learning in India," said Ajit Mohan, vice president and managing director of Facebook India. "We love that the company is fundamentally democratizing education and driving innovation in new learning models."

Unacademy, which was founded by Munjal, Saini and Hemesh Singh in 2015, helps educators create lessons on one app that students can access via another app. The edtech startup says its platform has over 10,000 educators and more than 1 million videos.

"We are seeing great learning outcomes through our subscription where learners can take live classes by these educators," Unacademy co-founder Gaurav Munjal said. "We now have more than 90,000 active subscribers."

Unacademy, operated by Sorting Hat Technologies, in June raised $50 million in Series D funding from Steadview Capital, Sequoia India, Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures. The company's Series C round in July 2018 raised $21 million from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and other parties.

One of Unacademy's close competitors is Byju's, which counts General Atlantic among its backers. Earlier this month, General Atlantic reportedly injected $200 million into Think and Learn, the education technology company that owns and operates the Byju's learning app.

Last month, the edtech unicorn also raised $200 million from New York-based investment company Tiger Global at a striking $8 billion valuation.

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