Unacademy, headquartered in Bengaluru, is a leading edtech firm in India that offers online learning and teaching services to millions of users across the country. This platform provides free and paid classes to students preparing for various competitive exams like IIT-JEE, NEET, UPSC, and other government job exams. With a vision to democratize education and help people to achieve their career goals, Unacademy has been growing rapidly over the past few years. However, the recent layoffs have raised a considerable concern among its stakeholders
Company History and Highlights
Unacademy was established in 2015 by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh. Initially, it started as a YouTube channel where the founders shared their knowledge and helped students to crack the civil services exams. Within a year, the channel gained massive popularity, and the founders decided to launch a separate platform for it. In 2016, the company raised its first seed fund of $500,000 from a group of angel investors. Since then, the company has received funding from some of the top venture capitalists like SoftBank, General Atlantic, Facebook, and others.
Recently, in September 2021, Unacademy became the second edtech company in India to achieve the unicorn status after BYJU’S. According to the company’s official website, it has over 50,000 educators and more than 62 million registered users. The platform offers more than 30 exam categories, including engineering, medical, banking, and others.
Reasons for Layoffs
Despite being one of the leading players in the edtech industry, Unacademy had to lay off around 380 employees in March 2023. The company claimed that it was part of its restructuring process to optimize performance and growth. The layoffs affected almost 8% of its total workforce, comprising employees from different departments like content creation, marketing, sales, and operations.
It is worth mentioning that this was not the first time Unacademy resorted to layoffs. In the past twelve months, the company has laid off more than 1000 employees in four different rounds. The company mentioned that these layoffs were primarily due to the restructuring of its subsidiaries and business verticals
Reaction from Stakeholders
The recent layoffs by Unacademy have raised a lot of concern among its stakeholders. Many employees who lost their jobs expressed their disappointment and frustration on social media platforms. Some of them claimed that they were not given any prior notice or explanation before the company terminated their employment. However, the company denied these allegations and said that it had provided ample opportunity and support to the affected employees before letting them go.
Many industry experts believe that these layoffs might be a result of the growing competition in the edtech industry and the pressure to reduce costs and increase profitability. Unacademy’s closest rival, BYJU’S, has been expanding aggressively, and other players like Vedantu, WhiteHat Jr, and UpGrad have also been gaining market share. Moreover, with the pandemic forcing most students and teachers to switch to online learning, the industry is expected to grow further in the coming years.