Edtech unicorn Unacademy has acquired Gate Academy for an undisclosed amount in a bid to strengthen its presence in the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) preparation segment. As part of the transaction, the entire Gate Academy team will join the edtech company.
Umesh Dhande, Founder and Director of GATE Academy, will join Unacademy as its vice president, academics, GATE and ESE, the company said. The entity is distinct from The Gate Academy, which fellow Unicorn upgraded to in November 2020.
Founded in 2015 by Gaurav Munjal, Hemesh Singh, and Roman Saini, Unacademy hold more than 50,000 registered educators and more than 62 Mn learners on its platform. The startup offers learning in 14 languages across 5,000 cities, concentrating on career-changing subjects and examinations like IIT-JEE, UPSC, etc.,
The edtech Unicorn also announced on Monday the launch of 50 new educational channels to improve access for millions of students.
The newly launched YouTube channels will help Unacademy foray into newer education concepts like direct and indirect taxes besides building on existing categories, the company said during the first edition of its flagship ‘Unacademy One’ in Bengaluru. Some of the channels include – QBank and Life after IIT for Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) preparation; National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) NEET ki Neev preparation channels as well as an educational platform for Indian Administrative Services (IAS) competitive test preparation aspirants, IAS Icons.
These channels will also include preparation for further competitive exams including the bank, the staff selection committee and defence. According to Unacademy, the channel will have the best educators, curation and creation of high-quality content for students and aspirants across India.
Vivek Sinha, Chief Operating Officer of Unacademy, said, “By announcing the launch of 50 unique channels, we reinforce our commitment to democratize education and introduce a strong content strategy for students who seek knowledge in unique and exciting ways.”
The company said it will soon launch Unacademy Compete, a platform that will allow students to compete with each other. The launch comes at a time when budding startups in India are facing a financial winter.
In a May memo to employees, Unacademy co-founder and CEO Gaurav Munjal said cost reduction will be a key focus for the company moving forward.
Gaurav Munjal, Co-founder and CEO of Unacademy, said, “winter is here” and that funding would remain scarce for at least 12-18 months.
The company had laid off around 1,000 employees, including on-roll and contract employees. These included employees of Unacademy Group’s Prep Ladder, which it acquired in 2020. The group includes Unacademy, PrepLadder, CodeChef, Graphy and Relevel. Earlier this month, Karan Shroff, the edtech firm’s chief marketing officer, who was promoted to Partner last September, announced his departure from the company.