YouTube channel to a billion dollar company — India’s first profitable edtech unicorn is here
PhysicsWallahhas raised $100 million in a Series A round from Westbridge and GSV Ventures. Alakh Pandeyhad started ‘PhysicsWallah’ as a YouTube channel back in 2014 and it is now valued at $1.1 billion
- It plans to use the latest capital for business expansion, branding, and opening more learning centers.
A unicorn, in startup parlance, is a company valued at over one billion dollars. PhysicsWallah is the first edtech company to hit this milestone this year. Overall, it is the 101th company in India to achieve this distinction.
The eight-year-old startup joins the elite list of edtech unicorns Byju’s, Vedantu, Eruditus, Vedantu and Upgrad.
It plans to use the latest capital for business expansion, branding, opening more learning centers, and introducing more course offerings. It is also looking to launch educational content in nine Indian languages, including Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Odia, Malayalam, and Kannada.
“This latest development will help us further our vision and implement new initiatives to augment the learning journeys of students, thereby enabling them to reach new heights in their careers,” said Alakh Pandey, founder and CEO of PhysicsWallah.
YouTube channel to a billion dollar company
Alakh Pandey had started ‘PhysicsWallah’ as a YouTube channel back in 2014. Looking at his popularity among students, Unacademy reportedly offered to hire him as a teacher too with a salary of ₹40 crore per annum. He turned it down to build a bootstrapped, profitable business out of PhysicsWallah.
The PhysicsWallah currently has more than 20 centres across 18 cities with more than 10,000 students enrolled for 2022-23 academic year. It has 5.2 million downloads on its app on Google PlayStore and 6.9 million subscribers on YouTube.
The company claims that over 10,000 of its students cracked competitive exams like NEET and JEE in 2020 and 2021 — thanks to its comprehensive, interactive and engaging educational content.
It employs 1,900 people — including 500 teachers, 90-100 tech experts, 200 associate professors to answer student queries and 200 professionals to create exam questions as well as term papers.
The ‘only profitable edtech unicorn’
Notably, PhysicWallah is the only profitable edtech unicorn at the moment and has been bootstrapped throughout its journey. The company raised its first external round today, on June 7.
“The company has been profitable since inception with positive cash flows and reserves. Our revenue grew 9-fold in the year 2021-22 vis-a-vis 2020-21. Our current run rate for FY23 is at $65 million,” Pandey added.
The development also comes at a time when experts have been anticipating a long funding winter, which will slowdown the flow of capital in the startup ecosystem. According to several experts Business Insider spoke with, edtech would be among the worst impacted sectors as students have started going back to school.
Even edtech companies like Unadacemy, Vedantu and FrontRow had to lay off 10-30% of their workforce in order to extend their runway.
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