India’s 101st Unicorn: PhysicsWallah Raises $100 Mn Investment

PhysicsWallah, commonly known as PW, a Noida-based ed-tech platform, has acquired $100 million in Series A investment from Westbridge and GSV Ventures, making it India’s 101st unicorn and the first unicorn in over a month. Following the purchase, the startup’s post-money valuation hit $1.1 billion.

The edtech company has stated that it would use the capital to expand its business and the market itself, provide new courses and create additional learning centers across India.

PhysicsWallah is an ed-tech startup founded in 2020 by Alakh Pandey and Prateek Maheshwari with an emphasis on competitive test prep for NEET and IIT/JEE. PW began as a YouTube channel in 2016, and the app and website were developed by the two co-founders in 2020.

More than 10,000 of its students have passed NEET and JEE in 2020 and 2021, according to India’s eighth edtech unicorn.

“This latest move will help us to broaden our mission and implement new initiatives to improve students’ learning experiences, allowing them to reach new heights in their careers,” said Alakh Pandey, PW’s co-founder, and CEO. We continue to say that “every money put into PW is for the betterment of learners.”

“PW is one of the few startups with a great knowledge of the education that Bharat today need,” stated Sandeep Singhal, MD of Westbridge Capital. We are excited by the founder’s focus on student learning results, and we look forward to a long association with them.”

According to Pandey, PW has been profitable from the start, having positive cash flows and reserves. “Our income climbed 9-fold in 2021-2022 compared to 2020-2021.” “Our current run rate for FY 2023 is $65 million,” the co-founder continued.

By 2025, PhysicsWallah plans to deliver instructional content in nine vernacular languages, with a target audience of more than 250 million pupils.

PW will also open 20 offline coaching locations around the country, after the establishment of 20 centers in 18 cities. It has more than 10,000 students enrolled for the 2022-2023 term, according to PhysicsWallah. The money will also be utilized to extend the company’s geographical footprint throughout the nation.

Six unicorns have already emerged from India’s ed-tech sector. BYJU’S, Unacademy, and Vedantu have all partnered with PhysicsWallah.

The fundraising round comes as the edtech sector has suffered a wave of layoffs amid worries of a general funding freeze. In 2022, eight edtech businesses have already laid off over 3,000 staff, including Unacademy and Vedantu.

In early May, India’s startup ecosystem produced its 100th unicorn, with the neobanking firm Open reaching unicorn value. Since March 2022, Open was the first unicorn, and with PhysicsWallah, the unicorn count has finally surpassed 100.