As demand for online education declines as the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, ed-tech firm Unacademy has followed in the footsteps of its key rival Byju’s and announced the creation of its own coaching centers, offering tuition for competitive examinations.
Unacademy is putting itself in direct competition with Byju’s, India’s most valuable ed-tech startup, which acquired Aakash Educational Services Ltd for over $1 billion last year, marking its debut into the offline education industry.
Unacademy, Aakash, will focus on NEET UG, IIT JEE, and foundation courses for students in grades I through XII.
Unacademy, on the other hand, would have a long way to go to match Aakash, which is owned by Byju and has over 200 teaching centers around the country.
The decision comes as demand for online schooling has begun to decline as Covid-19 limitations are relaxed across the country. As a result, ed-tech companies are being forced to enter the offline learning industry as well.
It also coincides with a general slowdown in funding for Indian startups due to geopolitical tensions sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as a big correction in tech stocks internationally and in India, forcing companies to not just limit cash burn but also hunt for new revenue streams.
Unacademy fired off over 600 staff
Unacademy, which was formerly valued at $3.4 billion, recently fired off over 600 staff and tutors in order to cut costs.
Moreover, when asked how much money it planned to invest in its offline venture, the company declined to disclose.
However, the company announced that it would open its first offline location in Kota, India’s private coaching capital.
Similar centers would be opened in Jaipur, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Patna, Pune, and Delhi. In the first batch, it intends to enroll up to 15,000 students.
Further, Unacademy will hold a national scholarship admission test for batch enrolments in the near future.