Edtech major Unacademy launches first 'store' in offline push

Edtech major Unacademy will launch four stores across Delhi, Kota, Jaipur, and Lucknow to offer offline touchpoints to counsel potential students.

Bengaluru-headquartered edtech major Unacademy launched its first experience centre Unacademy Store in Delhi. It is the first of four stores to be launched in Kota, Jaipur, and Lucknow, besides its current location. 

Gaurav Munjal, Co-founder and CEO, said the startup had a long term vision of going public over the next five years and was aiming for profitability for its core business in entrance test preparation. 

Targeted at students evaluating online test preparation options, the store will serve as a counselling centre for potential students, provide a meeting point to connect with educators on the Unacademy platform, besides offering a library, classrooms, and other infrastructure. These offline stores will offer counselling for nearly 50 entrance examinations at a single point.

“The offline distribution channel is a strong one, and the customer acquisition cost will likely go down as the average order volume goes up. We haven’t decided whether these stores will be targeted at non-metros only, and depending on the performance of the stores, will take a call on adding new ones,” said Gaurav Munjal said during the launch.

He added the stores will serve as a touch-point for potential students and parents who might want to talk to sales representatives before signing up for a course online. Gaurav did not disclose the investment made by the startup to grow its offline network. 

Unacademy will also continue to look for new distribution channels as hybrid learning is picking up and will continue to invest in growing its hiring platform Relevel, he said.

In 2021, Unacademy had launched Relevel and invested $20 million in the group company in October 2021. 

Unacademy also launched Icons in February 2022, a subscription service for celebrity-led courses. Besides, the edtech company also operates Graphy, a SaaS platform for the creator economy. To date, Unacademy has made 10 acquisitions.

The company, valued at $3.44 billion in its last funding round led by Temasek in August 2021, is looking for an offline push as schools, colleges, coaching, and other educational institutions have resumed in-person classes after the pandemic struck in 2020.

Its competitor, edtech major BYJU'S, also acquired coaching centre and test preparation service provider Aakash Educational Services Ltd in April 2021 for a reported value of $1 billion, marking its push into offline coaching.

Edited by Suman Singh


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