Unacademy On Acquisition Spree, Gets Majority Stake in Mastree for US$5M

Unacademy has closed a slew of deals in the first half of 2020, including a US$110M Series E

India-based online learning startup Unacademy has made a “strategic investment” in Mastree for a majority stake that cost it US$5 million, effectively acquiring the startup, the company announced in a statement yesterday.

The acquisition will help the company, which is growing in size in the edtech space, to strengthen its K-12 offerings and build products in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) category, the statement said.

It added that Blume Ventures has also exited its Unacademy investment, but did not disclose further details. Blume Ventures has invested in all of Unacademy’s rounds till date, from its seed round in 2016, to its $110 million Series E round in February this year, according to Crunchbase data.

The company’s list of backers include prominent names such as Facebook, General Atlantic, Sequoia India, and SAIF Partners.

“Unacademy and Mastree have a shared vision, and together we want to create an impact and make quality education accessible and affordable,” Co-founder and CEO of Unacademy, Gaurav Munjal said in the statement.

He added that Mastree is building a subscription product that can potentially “change the way students learn.”

Mastree, founded in October 2019, is creating a “one-stop subscription product” for middle school STEAM tracks. The product will include live classes in math, science, and soft skills, as well as unlimited personalized practice and live quizzes for students from grades 5 through 8, the statement said.

2020 has been a big year for Unacademy so far, with Mastree being its fourth acquisition of the year so far.

Earlier this month, the 2015-founded company acquired PrepLadder, an exam preparation platform for postgraduate medical students, for $50 million.

Prior to the deal, Unacademy acquired CodeChef in June for an undisclosed amount, the competitive programming platform announced via its official blog.

Unacademy also announced its acquisition of Kreatryx in April this year in a cash and stock deal for an undisclosed amount.

These three acquisitions join Wifistudy (which it acquired in 2018), and in-house brands Graphy, Chamomile Tea with Toppers, and Let’s Crack It, alongside the core Unacademy and Unacademy Subscription verticals, according to the company.

The edtech space is heavily populated with players, with the likes of Vedantu, Toppr, and Indian edtech unicorn BYJU’s competing staunchly for a slice of the pie, in addition to smaller players as well.

Reports suggest that the K-12 edtech market in India may grow by as much as six times, to reach $1.7 billion in 2022 from $265 million in 2019.

The market is attracting big investors such as Google, which has announced a $1 million grant for Indian students through its global distance learning fund, and also partnered with an Indian education board for online education tools.

The market has received a boost during COVID-19 due to an austere two-month lockdown in India to contain the virus. In fact, Munjal has previously said in an interview that Unacademy has grown three-fold in revenue, watch time, and views since the outbreak began. Its April 2020 revenues were higher than the combined revenues from 2017 to the first half of 2019.

At the same time, the report suggests that the growth in the market has been a development in the making for some time, due to increased investment inflows for edtech companies and increasing household digitization in India.

It is worth noting, however, that education in India is plagued by chronic problems such as poor teacher training and substandard elementary education performance.

This puts startups like Unacademy in a uniquely challenging position, where they are faced with massive untapped market potential, the key to which lies in solving India’s problems with access to quality education.

Header image by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Sharon Lewis
Sharon is a Staff Writer at Jumpstart


Squid Game

Squid Game and Its Lessons on Entrepreneurship

With the massive media buzz the South Korean series “Squid Game” has been getting, you would have to live under a rock to not know about it. It is so popular that a South Korean broadband firm has sued Netflix over the surge in network traffic.

What Is Biotechnology

What Is Biotechnology and How to Start a Biotech Company?

To say that Covid has been a biological nightmare for the world is an understatement. In a bid to wake up from it, companies and investors have turned their attention to science, medicine and innovation—or simply, biotechnology. With vaccines and cures becoming the need of the hour, BioTech rose like never before.


Netflix Forays into Video Games with Night School Studio Acquisition

On September 28, 2021, streaming service Netflix announced its first game-related acquisition: Night School Studio. The studio is best known for its game “Oxenfree”, which is a supernatural teen thriller. In a bid to diversify its offerings, Netflix has also released five mobile-friendly video games in Europe (i.e. Spain, Italy and Poland).

Chloe NFT

Side-eyeing Chloe NFT Sold for US$76,377.50

In 2013, the then two-year-old Chloe Clems went viral as her hilarious side-eyeing expression made her into a beloved internet meme. In her meme avatar, little Chloe has ruled over the hearts of many a Twitter and Reddit enthusiast and has been dubbed the “Patron saint of Tumblr” by Buzzfeed.

What Are the Threats of Using Social Media

What Are the Threats of Using Social Media?

Social media has become a part of our everyday lives. As of September 2021, the largest social media platform Facebook has over 2.89 billion active users monthly. With people across the world relying heavily on social media platforms, it is expected that some of them would exploit these platforms for negative purposes as well.

Maker in China Fueling Hong Kong’s Startup Spirit

Maker in China: Fueling Hong Kong’s Startup Spirit

On September 17, 2021, the “Maker in China” SME Innovation and Entrepreneurship Global Contest 2021 Grand Final was held in Guangzhou, China. MAD Gaze, a Cyberport incubatee specializing in augmented reality smart glasses, was declared the winner of the championship.