Indian edtech PhysicsWallah becomes unicorn with $100 million Series A funding – TechCrunch

Indian edtech PhysicsWallah becomes unicorn with $100 million Series A funding – TechCrunch
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An Indian edtech startup that has made inroads in smaller Indian cities and towns with its low-cost learning offerings is the latest to join the country’s fast-growing unicorn club.

PW, or PhysicsWallah, has raised $100 million in its Series A funding, the startup said Tuesday. Westbridge and GSV Ventures financed the startup’s maiden institutional round, which values the two-year-old firm at $1.1 billion (post-money).

Unlike its bigger rivals that charge users as high as tens of thousands of dollars, PW charges students as low as $4 and according to a person familiar with the matter, has amassed tens of thousands of paying subscribers.

“Since its inception, we have focused on delivering high-quality education with affordability at the forefront, ensuring that learners from all walks of life can continue their higher education and boost their career trajectory without any hassles,” said Alakh Pandey, founder and chief executive of PW, in a statement.

“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. Our commitment remains ‘every dollar spent in PW is for the greater good of learners.’”

The startup’s success comes at a time when several established edtech players are struggling and have cut their workforces in recent weeks.

“With the help of PW’s comprehensive, interactive, and engaging educational content in the form of lectures, videos, and notes, 10,000+ students have cracked competitive exams like NEET and JEE in 2020 and 2021. The platform proudly boasts that at least one student in six medical and one in ten engineering colleges in India are PW alumni,” PW said.

PW represent a broader shift in the Indian startup ecosystem. The urban India – or “India1,” as venture capitalist Sajith Pai categorizes it, appears to have largely been taped out with only few opportunities left. So it should come as little surprise that PW was one of the hottest deals that many VCs have been chasing for several quarters.

PW, which runs both online and offline classes, has gained a wide popularity on YouTube, where it has amassed nearly 7 million subscribers. Its teachers — including Pandey — have a large and loyal fanbase on Google’s platform where they publish videos to show their admiration for PW and also sometimes amusingly mock other edtech platforms, who they allege are in this business for the “money.”

The startup said it plans to deploy the fresh funds to open more physical learning centres and broaden its offerings to students.

This is a developing story. More to follow…

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