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Edtech startup Unacademy secures USD 11.5 M to produce its own content, & more

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Edtech startup Unacademy secures USD 11.5 M for Series B

Unacademy

Founders: Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh, and Sachin Gupta

Founded in: 2016

Financing status: USD 11.5 million for Series B round in 2017

Bangalore-based online learning platform Unacademy has raised USD 11.5 million for Series B round led by Sequoia Capital India and SAIF Partners. Existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, and other individual investors also participated in the round.

Unacademy was founded in 2016 by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh, and Sachin Gupta. Munjal and Singh both worked previously at Flatchat, an app that matches users with roommates, renters, property owners, etc. Munjal was the founder & CEO of Flatchat, while Singh was the CTO.

Unacademy is an online knowledge repository for multilingual education. It utilizes technology to empower educators and create a community of self-learners. The startup claims that in about 6 months, over 300,000 students on the platform have benefited from about 2,400 online lessons and specialized courses on various examinations. The startup also claims to have over 2 million views every month.

Commenting on the investment, Gaurav Munjal, CEO & co-founder of Unacademy, said that with the backing of Sequoia and SAIF, his company is poised to gain momentum and create the first global education technology product out of India.

In August, Indian billionaire and serial entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia joined Unacademy’s board.

The startup will use the newly raised funds to accelerate its products and technology. It plans to scale to other categories including personality development, additional languages, and interview skills. It will also use the investment to produce its own content.

Other players in India’s edtech area include Byju’s, Cerebroz, Leverage EdTech, etc.

Photo from OYO Rooms website

Budget hotel aggregator  OYO raises USD 10 M from China Lodging Group

OYO

Founder: Ritesh Agarwal

Founded in: 2013

Financing status: USD 10 million for undisclosed round in 2017

Delhi-based budget hotel marketplace OYO Rooms has raised USD 10 million from Chinese hotel operator China Lodging Group Ltd. This is as part of a strategic partnership of the Chinese company.

The partnership reportedly includes alliances in areas such as local sourcing and procurement, joint loyalty programs, venture partnership opportunities, and technology sharing.

Jenny Zhang, CEO of China Lodging Group, said that the partnership would draw on the strengths of China Lodging Group’s management team, hotel operations expertise and strong loyalty programs as well as on OYO’s technologies that transform and improve hotel operations.

China Lodging Group Ltd. is a multi-brand hotel group in China with leased, manachized, and franchised models. The company has approximately 620 leased hotels; over 2,070 manachised hotels and approximately 80 franchised hotels in operation, and over 20 leased hotels and approximately 660 manachised and franchised hotels under development.

OYO Rooms was founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal, a fellow of the Thiel Foundation, who was featured in Forbes 30 under 30 in Consumer Tech (2016).

OYO is one of India’s largest hospitality startups. OYO provides budget hotel room accommodation to travelers in India. Its apps have functions like inventory-management, room-service, revenue-management, and customer-relationship management. The startup claims to have a network covering 200 Indian cities including all major metros, regional commercial hubs, leisure destinations, and key pilgrimage towns. It also has an international presence with hotels in Malaysia and Nepal.

In January, OYO launched Townhouse – a managed hotel-brand designed to function as a social hotspot catering to city dwellers and a new generation of guests.

Last week, OYO Rooms raised USD 250 million for Series D round of funding led by existing Japanese investor SoftBank.

Other players in the budget hotel area in India include FabHotels, Treebo Hotels, etc.

(Top photo from 58pic.com)

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