Physics Wallah, an edtech platform targeting high school and above with a blended learning model, has raised $100 Mn in its first ever funding round. The round was lead by WestBridge Capital and GSV ventures. The round led Physics Wallah straight into unicorn territory, with its valuation reaching $1.1 Billion. The company joins other fellow edtechs Byju’s, Unacademy, Eruditus, Vedantu, UpGrad and Lead school in the unicorn club.
Co-founder Alakh Pandey said “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. Our commitment remains that every dollar spent in Physics Wallah is spent for the greater good of learners.”
Founded by Alakh Pandey and Prateek Maheshwar in 2016 as nothing but a YouTube Channel, the platform is a rare Indian startup to have been profitable since day one. In its early days, Pandey himself recorded and posted Physics lectures on YouTube for students preparing for national entrances in engineering and medicine. Pandey’s cheerful, light-hearted and humourous approach to teaching is what attracted a large crowd of students towards him, students that otherwise were not getting proper attention by their coaching institutes.
Jump to the present, and Physics Wallah has expanded to multiple widely subscribed YouTube channels, an independent Physics Wallah App and a website. The company also runs 20 offline coaching centers across 16 cities. While the content on YouTube remains free to access, the company offers online courses and offline admissions at a very nominal fee structure compared to other established names in the field of coaching for entrance exams. Despite the unprecedented success, Pandey remains active on all his social media handles, interacting with as many students as he can.
Physics Wallah employs around 1,900 people, including 500 teachers, 200 associate professors to answer student queries, 90-100 tech experts and about 200 professionals to create questions for tests and term exams. The company has a merry balance sheet, remaining profitable since launch. “The company has been profitable since inception with positive cash flows and reserves. Our revenue grew nine-fold in the year 2021-2022 vis-a-vis 2020-2021. Our current rate for FY2023 is at $65 million,” Pandey said.
There is certainly something about Physics Wallah, as the company has attracted this massive investment at a time when other well-funded edtechs are struggling with financing. Fellow unicorn edtech Unacademy laid off over a 1,000 employees in the early days of April. Another edtech startup Udayy shut off operations last week, laying off all of their 100-120 employees. Smaller and more diverse startups like frontrow, who’s target demographic is completely different, have also had recent layoffs.