Interaction with learners

Unacademy eyes an IPO in two years with the rollout of offline experience stores

Edtech Unacademy platform, owned and operated by Sorting Hat Technologies Pvt Ltd, has launched an experience store in New Delhi called ‘Unacademy Store’ as the company aims to go public in two years, said the co- founder and CEO. Gaurav Munjal on Friday.

The company plans to open three more stores in Jaipur, Lucknow and Kota, Munjal said, without disclosing the platform’s investment roadmap in experience stores.

Munjal further stated that the company is on track to achieve profitability in its core business and will seek to make an initial public offering (IPO) within the next two years.

“Let’s say in the next two years we really want to do an IPO and in the next 12 months we’re aiming for profitability in our core business, which is the test preparation platform, and we’re on the right track. way to get there,” Munjal said.

With the launch of the Unacademy store, the company aims to market the platform’s offerings to learners, she said.

The platform expects its customer acquisition cost to decrease with the launch of these experience stores, Munjal added.

Unacademy said it designed the store to serve as an offline touchpoint for learners to discover and browse through the platform’s various offerings.

The store will help learners keep up to date with the career paths they have chosen and connect with like-minded people.

The offline stores will also provide hands-on guidance with experts and allow students to have meetings with top educators, giving them a holistic in-store experience, Unacademy said.

Students can also purchase store subscriptions for any chosen goals after advising and browsing the content offering.

Unacademy stores will have display devices such as tablets and screens, with content running from the platform, which will help users understand the company’s offerings and subscription models. Students and visitors will also benefit from the assistance of field staff.

The stores will also have an advice area where students can get advice and help on the product offerings available.

Additionally, the Unacademy store will have a library with reading resources, the company said, as well as classrooms where educators can hold sessions, the company said.

Munjal further said that the company plans to open more such stores in the country but will wait to see the response these four stores will receive from students or visitors.

Unacademy’s decision to open an offline experience store comes at a time when edtech companies are adding offline centers to their offerings as the pandemic situation subsides. In February, Byju’s, owned and operated by Think & Learn Pvt Ltd, said it would launch about 500 offline tuition centers in India and invest $200 million for the same.

Aakash Educational Services, owned by Byju’s, also plans to open 75 new centers this year, VCCircle had reported.

Additionally, competition in the edtech space is increasing as top companies in the same space across the country are aggressively growing by adding more offerings to their product lineup, organically or inorganically.

As a result, many edtech companies have raised billions of dollars over the past two years, either through equity or debt. Certainly, India has hit five unicorns or companies with a valuation of over $1 billion in the edtech space since 2021.

Edtech companies are also looking for IPOs. Just like Unacademy, Vedantu Innovations Pvt Ltd, is also eyeing an IPO in the next 18-24 months, said the company’s co-founder and CEO, Vamsi Krishna. VCCircle in an exclusive interaction in February.

Byju’s, meanwhile, is also reportedly seeking to be listed through a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Vehicle) in the United States.