Unacademy’s Acquisition Spree

With 8 acquisitions that swiftly happened within 16 months, what is Unacademy’s focus?


Much to the likes of Byju’s acquisition haul, Unacademy is not behind. Between March 2020 till February 2021, Unacademy has made 7 acquisitions and with the recent live game streaming platform Rheo TV, the count becomes 8. 

The deal involves a 100 percent stake of Unacademy in Rheo TV and therefore will enable the exit of its previous investors. The investor list includes names such as Lightspeed India Partners, Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, AET Fund, founder and former CEO of RedBus Phanindra Sama and former country head of Google Mobile Mahesh Narayanan.

The online live gaming streaming platform Rheo TV – a brainchild of Ex-Unacademy colleagues Saksham Keshri and Prakash Kumar, will now join Unacademy’s Relevel – a platform that aims to bring disruptions in India’s job market. Relevel will up the employability skills of the Indian job seekers by allowing them to showcase their skills through tests and secure employment in various companies. 

Why is Unacademy making such speedy acquisitions?

In 16 months, the acquisitions made by Unacademy ranged from small-medium-sized edtech startups that served the competitive entrance segment such as UPSC, NEET, GATE, ESE and other government exams. The deals taking place at a faster pace also come to the close of the heels of Byjus acquiring India’s largest offline tutorial chain Aakash Educational Services to offer omnichannel learning solutions and become a pioneer in the test prep market. Its partnership with Disney to provide online learning solutions to kindergarten kids and the recent first-ever foreign haul with Osmo – A US-based educational game system, reveals Byju’s ambitious global dreams. 

Looking at these deals, it became imperative for Unacademy to strengthen its anchor in India’s competitive exam segment. 

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Unacademy has made 7 acquisitions and with the recent live game streaming platform Rheo TV, the count becomes 8 within 16 months.

The Acquired Products of Unacademy 

Unacademy, since the beginning of 2020 till Feb 2021 has acquired the below startups: 

  • Kreatryx:  Kreatryx offers videos, test series and a postal tracking platform for GATE and ESE exams. Their deal was an undisclosed one and took place in March 2020. Kreatryx now runs as a separate brand with Unacademy being the parent one. 

  • CodeChef: CodeChef is a platform for aspiring programmers to make it big in the world of algorithms, computer programming and programming contests.

  • Prepladder: It offers online learning solutions for students appearing for medical entrance examinations such as NEET, PG and FMGE.

  • Mastree: Mastree is a one-stop subscription product for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) courses, for classes 5-8, which includes live Classes in small groups for mathematics, science, public speaking, creative writing and Vedic mathematics. 
  • Coursavy: A platform that caters to the exam preparations of UPSC aspirants. 
  • NeoStencil: An exam preparation platform for government jobs. 
  • Tapchief: It was the first acquisition made in Feb 2021, the online platform helps professionals to earn incomes without full-time jobs.

How are the acquisitions going to benefit Unacademy?

Unlike Byjus that began offering learning solutions in the K-12 segment and then forayed into test preparation space, Unacademy was focused on becoming the market leader in the competitive exam space. By striking deals with Prepladder a platform for medical exam prep, Coursavvy – dedicated to UPSC aspirants, and NeoStencil – a platform for government exam preps, it has created a niche for itself in the edtech market since few platforms cater to these segments. 

Though Byjus also offers UPSC and medical exam preparations, in terms of user base, it is dismal. Whereas startups like Coursavy and Prepladder, before getting acquired, had already secured a loyal userbase of UPSC and medical aspirants and this acquisition will further benefit Unacademy to enhance its learning content and expand its market. 

By acquiring Tapchief, it has upped the game of enhancing the employability skills of job seekers which has largely been untapped to date. While leveraging Tapchief’s suite of solutions to help professionals interact and learn from experts, work with businesses from across the world and aggregate their brand online, it will enable the edtech major to build Unacademy Pro, a platform that will help an individual strengthen its skills and knowledge to get a dream job. To keep up its pace with the rival’s acquisition of WhiteHat Jr., Unacademy has stepped its foot in the competitive programming space as well. For honing the public speaking skills and enhancing the creativity of the school students from grades 5th-8th it has acquired Mastree. 

So, overall it becomes evident that Unacademy wants to build its presence mostly in the test preparation segment for undergrad and postgrad students and wants to enter and bolster its presence into the field of job-seeking individuals.  

Learnings from Unacademy

Not following the suit

Unacademy did not follow the K-12 suit like other edtech platforms to retain its uniqueness. It realised that if its rivals have a hold in the school segment and are going global then it should bolster its Indian market by providing online learning solutions in various college and government entrance exams.

Something for the job seekers

Most of the undergrads in India are not workforce ready. To match up with the dynamic business environment, companies are scaling themselves up and want to equip themselves with the best workforce. Hence, the corporates today are hunting for individuals that have special skills and competencies to help them achieve their objectives. With initiatives like Relevel and Unacademy Pro, they are focussing on the individuals who can upskill themselves and be job-ready.

Innovative Learning Product

With the acquisition of Rheo TV, it might be possible that Unacademy launches learning solutions amalgamated with gaming to give online learning a fun avatar. 

Shalmoli Sarkar
Shalmoli Sarkar
An MBA in marketing and a BTech in chemical engineering, Shalmoli writes on marketing strategies and business technology for new and aspiring entrepreneurs.

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