Facebook-backed Unacademy acquires PrepLadder for $50 million

Indian online learning platform Unacademy said on Tuesday it has acquired Chandigarh-based startup PrepLadder for $50 million as the Facebook-backed edtech giant scouts for deals to expand its presence in the country.

PrepLadder, which employs about 150 people, offers courses aimed at medical students. The two-year-old startup, which never raised any capital from external investors, has more than 80,000 subscribers, said PrepLadder co-founder Deepanshu Goyal.

“Unacademy and PrepLadder are working towards the common goal of making quality education accessible to all. We believe that the synergies between both products will truly create a mark in the industry,” he said.

The acquisition of PrepLadder comes as both Unacademy and Byju’s — the two edtech leaders in India — have engaged with several startups in recent months to further their dominance in the nation. In a call with reporters today, Gaurav Munjal, co-founder and chief executive of Unacademy, said he was open to talking with more startups to see opportunities to work together.

TechCrunch reported last month that Byju’s was in talks to acquire Doubtnut, another edtech startup, for as much as $150 million. The nine-year-old firm, which was valued at $10.5 billion last month, is also in talks with Whitehat Jr, an online platform that teaches kids how to code, Indian daily the Economic Times reported last week.

Unacademy, which was already growing at an impressive pace, has accelerated its growth in recent months as schools across the country were closed in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The startup, which began as a YouTube channel in 2015, has amassed over 30 million learners on the platform. More than 700,000 users access its app and website each day.

The startup, which offers dozens of courses for school-going students at no charge, last year launched a paid subscription service. Munjal said today that Unacademy has amassed over 200,000 subscribers.

More to follow…

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