As demand for online education drops with the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, edtech firm Unacademy has taken a cue from its crucial rival Byju. Unacademy announced its foray into the offline learning space by launching its coaching centres, and it offers tuition for competitive examinations.
Why is Unacademy foraying into offline education?
With this move, Unacademy is pitting itself squarely against its biggest rival and India’s most valued edtech startup Byju. Byju acquired Aakash Educational Services Ltd for nearly $1 billion, marking its foray into the offline education market. Like Aakash, Unacademy will also focus on NEET UG, IIT JEE and foundation courses for IX to XII grade students. However, Unacademy would still have a long way to match Byju’s-owned Aakash’s reach in the country which has more than 200 tutoring centres.
What is the significance of Unacademy’s decision?
The move comes when demand for online education has started to drop as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted across the country. This is forcing edtech firms to tap into the offline learning market. It also coincides with a general slowdown in funding in Indian startups amid geopolitical tensions. The tension is led by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a massive correction in tech stocks globally and in India. The attack has forced companies to reduce their cash burn and look for newer avenues of revenue generation.
Unacademy, last valued at $3.4 billion, recently laid off more than 600 employees and tutors to reduce its cash burn. The firm said it would launch its first offline centre in Kota, the private coaching hub of the country. It will then establish similar centres in Jaipur, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Patna, Pune and Delhi. It hopes to enrol up to 15,000 students in the first batch. Unacademy will also soon conduct a national scholarship admission test for batch enrolments.