A man of many tales, Gaurav Munjal is humorous, inspirational, and edgy. Gaurav was born in Rajasthan. After studying at St. Xavier College in Jaipur, he moved to Mumbai to pursue engineering at NMIMS University.
With a lifelong enthusiasm for tech, Gaurav Munjal started learning how to code at an early age. His passion drove him to create a YouTube channel called Unacademy. In 2010, Gaurav Munjal posted a brief computer graphics tutorial on YouTube.
Before starting Unacademy, Gaurav co-founded Flatchat, an online housing marketplace in India for college students and recent graduates. He founded FlatChat to assist people in finding accommodation. Later, in 2015, he sold Flatchat to the real estate portal CommonFloor.
In addition, he worked as a software developer at Directi.
How Gaurav found his Co-Founders
No matter how big or small, Gaurav knew he wanted to start his own business. Gaurav thought that the way education was delivered in previous decades was expensive and ineffective.
To provide great education so people can learn skills and get jobs, Gaurav discussed his startup idea of developing an online educational platform with his close friends. In order to address this issue, Gaurav Munjal, Dr. Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh founded Unacademy.
Even though the startup was founded in 2010 with the same name as an educational YouTube channel, it was registered as an EdTech company.
Before Unacademy became a private limited company, Roman and Gaurav began creating content and learning about websites like Quora and YouTube.
Roman passed the AIIMS entrance exam at the age of 16. Roman passed the civil service exam on his first attempt in 2013, as the youngest IAS officer. Roman was affected by Gaurav's vision.
He decided to resign from his position in order to partner with Gaurav in building Unacademy into the leading online learning community.
Hemesh Singh worked as the Chief Technical Officer at Flatchat. Together with Roman and Hemesh, Gaurav began the process of creating the largest EdTech company in India in September 2015.
How Unacdemy started
Together with Roman and Hemesh, Gaurav began the process of building the largest EdTech company in the country in September 2015.
Unacademy is an online learning platform that offers both free and paid courses in a variety of subjects, from school level to competitive exams. It also provides UPSC preparation, employment skills, entrepreneurial skills, and many more.
Unacademy’s Going from 0 to 1 Million Students
The online educational platform with an Indian focus offered learning materials and helped students get ready for competitive exams like the GATE, NEET, CAT, and GEE.
The EdTech company entered the mainstream within a year, offering students free educational materials. It went viral as many learners and educators joined the Unacademy community.
Unacademy became India's largest online learning platform in 2017, with 1 million+ student. It began to rise up the success ladder with more than 200 free courses and over a million viewers.
With 200k+ daily active users who are learning in live classes, it became the largest live learning platform in 2018. Gaurav introduced a subscription-based product through Unacademy in 2019.
Unacademy provides live classes with skilled instructors, test series with rank predictors, 24x7 doubt resolution services, structured courses, and more through its subscription products.
It reached more than 800,000 active subscribers after introducing the paid subscription products.
Becoming the Edtech Unicorn
The Bangalore-based startup Unacademy joined the unicorn club after receiving $150 million in investment funding from Softbank.
Crunchbase records indicate that Unacademy has raised $838.5 million in 12 rounds.
Additionally, the company has received sizeable funding from other investors, such as General Atlantic and Tiger Global. In 2021, Unacademy’s valuation was worth $3.4 billion.
Gaurav Munjal said, “Learning from the best experts to achieve a life goal has mostly been a privilege, available only to those living in the top few cities of the country. At Unacademy, we are breaking that barrier and helping people achieve their life's most important goals by giving them access to the best coaching from experts in the field.”
Unacademy Growth Story
Here's an quick overview of Unacademy Growth Story:
- Unacademy first started as a YouTube channel in 2010. In 2011 Unacademy became one of the most subscribed educational channels in India boasting 12 million video views and 1 million views every month.
- In 2015, Gaurav founded the EdTech company in the country along with Roman and Hemesh.
- The largest learning platform in India, Unacademy, brings together expert educators for millions of students who need higher-quality education.
- In 2017, Unacademy became the largest online learning platform in India with 1 million+ student and 40,000+ live classes.
- Unacademy has developed into a top live learning portal in 2018 with daily traffic of more than 200k users.
- To add more learning opportunities in 2020, they acquired Kreatryx, PrepLadder, and Codechef.
- In 2021, redesigned every aspect of the learning process on the app and released it to all users during the first-ever Unveil 1.0 event.
- In 2021 over the course of 12 funding rounds, Unacademy secured a total of $838.5M in funding. From a Series H round, they received their recent funding.
Sneak Peek into the mindset of Gaurav Munjal
In a podcast with Shailendra Singh, Managing Director at Sequoia India, Gaurav says, “To Create Iconic Products, Set Iconic Goals. Winning is a culture, This is something they are able to retain at the Unacademy.”
When Gaurav started Unacademy, his objective was very clear: to build the largest educational platform in the world.
One of Gaurav's leadership tenets is the use of the word "obsession" repeatedly throughout the conversation. When building something, he describes himself as an obsessive founder, which he claims gives him an advantage over his more laid-back competitors.