physics wallah: online learning platform Physics Wallah enters the unicorn club with $100 million in funding

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Bengaluru: Physics Wallah, an online education startup, raised $100 million in its first round of funding led by WestBridge Capital and GSV Ventures, making it the latest edtech to enter India’s unicorn club. The company is valued at $1.1 billion, the company said in a statement prepared Tuesday. Unicorns are private startups with a valuation of $1 billion or more.

Other edtech unicorns include Byju’s, Unacademy, Eruditus, Vedantu, UpGrad, and Lead School.

The startup plans to use the funds for business expansion, branding, opening more offline learning centers and introducing more course offerings, it said. she said in a prepared statement.

Physics Wallah also plans to launch educational content in nine vernacular languages ​​including Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Odia, Malayalam and Kannada. The main idea behind it is to reach every corner of the country and connect with 250 million students by 2025, the startup, the company said.

“This latest development will help us advance our vision and implement new initiatives to increase students’ learning journeys, enabling them to reach new heights in their careers. Our commitment remains that every dollar spent in Physics Wallah is for the greater good of learners,” said Alakh Pandey, Co-Founder of Physics Wallah.

Founded in 2016 by Pandey and Prateek Maheshwar, Physics Wallah prepares students for engineering competitions and medical entrance exams. The company currently claims to have over 10 million students taking advantage of its services.

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“The Indian edtech ecosystem has grown tremendously over the past two years; however, recent developments have demonstrated the direct importance of an effective edtech infrastructure. Physicas Wallah creates long-term value for learners by providing high-quality education at a democratic price,” said Sandeep Singhal, Managing Director of WestBridge Capital.

Physics Wallah specializes in presenting full lectures and sessions on YouTube and distributing them through its proprietary Physics Wallah app and website for students aspiring to take the National Entrance Eligibility Test (NEET) and exam joint entry (JEE). Apart from YouTube and apps, it also runs 20 offline centers in 16 cities.

The startup edtetch currently has 1,900 employees, including 500 teachers and 90 to 100 technical experts. It also has 200 associate professors available to answer student questions and 200 other professionals to create exam questions and essays.

“The company has been profitable since inception with positive cash flow and reserves,” Pandey said. “Our turnover was multiplied by 2 in 2021-2022 compared to 2020-2021. Our current execution rate for fiscal year 2023 is $65 million,” he added.

The investment comes at a time when India’s top edtech unicorns are facing slowing funding and looking for ways to cut costs and increase leads. In recent months, major education technologies, including Unacademy and Vedantu, have laid off employees, in a bid to expand the track.

Last month, Unacademy founder Gaurav Munjal, whose company recently laid off more than 1,000 permanent and contract employees, told employees in an email that “winter has arrived” and that the reduction costs would be the company’s primary focus as funding would remain scarce for at least the next 12 to 18 months.

In the first week of June, edtech startup Udayy shut down, laying off around 100-120 employees due to a slowdown in business after opening offline schools and kindergartens. Even smaller startups such as Lido Learning and Frontrow have laid off several employees as investors take a cautious approach to backing startups.

Several edtech companies are currently venturing into hybrid learning models that involve both online and offline learning to combat the post-pandemic downturn and the opening of schools. Physics Wallah operates more than 20 offline centers in 18 cities with more than 10,000 students enrolled for the 2022-2023 session, the company said.

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