From BYJU’S to Unacademy – competition in India’s fast-rising online education sector

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  • The opportunity in Indian edtech is huge and the top edtech startups are all vying for the same pie.
  • However, when Unacademy’s founder Gaurav Munjal says he wants to compete with Netflix, and not peers like Byju’s or Vedantu, it shows just how different each platform wants to be.
  • Here’s a look at how the different startups are eyeing the online education sector.
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India’s booming edtech sector has got all what it wants this year – an unprecedented surge in users, a flurry of investors with billions of dollars, and most importantly, a change in mindset that embraces edtech. However, when Unacademy’s founder Gaurav Munjal says he wants to compete with Netflix, and not peers like Byju’s or Vedantu, it shows just how different each platform wants to be.

In 2020 alone, India’s edtech startups have raised over $1.5 billion which is just as much as the startups had raised in the past five years put together. According to a Redseer report, India’s edtech startups had raised $1.6 billion between 2014-2019.

StartupPre-Covid valuationLatest valuation
BYJU’S$8 billion$11 billion
Unacademy$400 million$1.45 billion
Vedantu$280 million$600 million
Eruditus $410 million$700 million

Gaurav Munjal, co-founder of Unacademy, recently wrote a blog about choosing the right competition. “Who I would really love to compete with is Netflix - they have 193M subscribers. Now can we compete with Netflix and build iconic products for learning and education that have more subscribers than them? We certainly can and we certainly will. And we will play to win,” he wrote.

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Indeed, the opportunity in Indian edtech is huge. India’s education market is worth $135 billion but edtech currently constitutes for just about a billion dollars in annual revenue, according to a CNBC TV-18 report. And, there is space for firms of all hues.

Competition in edtech

While there may be overlaps in the target audience but each of these platforms is popular in specific segments.

BYJU’S UNACADEMYVEDANTUERUDITUS UPGRAD
BYJU’S focus lies in being an online tutoring platform for students beyond schools. It offers comprehensive e-learning programs Popular amongst: School students, NEET, JEE, UPSC & Bank Exams. Unacademy started off as a YouTube channel and helps students prepare for exams. Popular amongst: Applicants for UPSC, SSC, IIT JEE, CAT and other exams.Vedantu claims to be a live tutoring website with Best Teachers for Popular amongst: CBSE, ICSE students and applicants for Olympiads, IIT JEE.It offers executive education programs from top business schools from across the world.Popular amongst: Professionals opting for MBA coursesupGrad offers online courses to gain certification across different subjects like product management, artificial intelligence, machine learning etc. The startup is focussed on offering reskilling courses to people.Popular amongst: Professionals looking to upskill themselves
Users: 57 millionSubscribers: 2.4 millionUsers: 30 millionSubscribers: 350,000Users: 25 millionSubscribers: 75,000Users not publicly availableUsers: 5 lakhSubscribers: 32,000
Sources: media reports

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India’s edtech sector is projected to hit $4 billion in revenue by 2025 and these startups are in a gold rush for the same.

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