PhysicsWallah, also known as PW, a Noida-based edtech platform, has raised $100 million in a Series A funding round from Westbridge and GSV Ventures, making it India’s 101st unicorn and the first unicorn in almost a month. Following the transaction, the startup’s post-money valuation reached $1.1 billion.
The edtech company has stated that it will use the funds to expand its business, brand itself, introduce new courses, and open more learning centers across India.
PhysicsWallah is an edtech startup founded in 2020 by Alakh Pandey and Prateek Maheshwari with a focus on competitive exam prep for NEET and IIT/JEE. PW began as a YouTube channel in 2016, and the app and website were developed by the two cofounders in 2020.
More than 10,000 of its students have passed NEET and JEE in 2020 and 2021, according to India’s seventh edtech unicorn.
“This latest development will help us further our vision and implement new initiatives to augment the learning journeys of students, thereby enabling them to reach new heights in their careers,” Alakh Pandey, cofounder and CEO of PW, said. “Every dollar spent in PW is for the greater good of learners,” we pledge.
“PW is one of the rare startups with a profound understanding of the education that Bharat today requires,” said Sandeep Singhal, MD of Westbridge Capital. We are excited by the founder’s focus on student learning outcomes, and we look forward to a long partnership with them.”
PW has been profitable since its inception, according to Pandey, with positive cash flows and reserves. “Compared to 2020-2021, our revenue increased 9-fold in 2021-2022.” The cofounder added, “Our current run rate for FY 2023 is $65 million.”
By 2025, PhysicsWallah plans to launch educational content in nine vernacular languages, with a target audience of more than 250 million students.
PW will also open 20 offline coaching centers across the country, after already establishing 20 in 18 cities. It has more than 10,000 students enrolled for the 2022-2023 session, according to PhysicsWallah. The money will also be used to expand the company’s geographical presence in the country.
Six unicorns have already emerged from India’s edtech sector. BYJU’S, Unacademy, and Vedantu are now joined by PhysicsWallah.
The funding round comes as the edtech sector has seen a wave of layoffs amid fears of a widespread funding freeze. In 2022, eight edtech startups have already laid off over 3,000 employees, including Unacademy and Vedantu.
In early May, India’s startup ecosystem produced its 100th unicorn, with the neobanking startup Open reaching unicorn valuation. Since March 2022, Open was the first unicorn, and with PhysicsWallah, the unicorn count has finally surpassed 100.