PW (PhysicsWallah), India’s most affordable and accessible ed-tech platform, has raised $100 million in Series A funding from Westbridge and GSV Ventures. With this development, the firm has become India’s 101st unicorn and the first edtech player to achieve this milestone. This transaction values the company at $1.1 billion post-completions.
PW will utilise these funds for business expansion, branding, opening more PW learning centres, and introducing more course offerings. PW currently has 5.2 million Play Store downloads with a 4.7 rating and 6.9 million subscribers on YouTube. With the help of PW’s comprehensive, interactive, and engaging educational content in the form of lectures, videos, and notes, 10,000+ students have cracked competitive exams like NEET and JEE in 2020 and 2021. The platform proudly boasts that at least one student in six medical and one in ten engineering colleges in India are PW alumni.
Alakh Pandey, Founder, and CEO of PW, said, “We are delighted to join the unicorn bandwagon with this latest funding. Since its inception, we have focused on delivering high-quality education with affordability at the forefront, ensuring that learners from all walks of life can continue their higher education and boost their career trajectory without any hassles. 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 ‘every dollar spent in PW is for the greater good of learners’.”
Sandeep Singhal, Managing Director, WestBridge Capital, commented, “The Indian edtech ecosystem has grown considerably over the last two years; however, recent developments have demonstrated the first-hand importance of an efficient edtech Infrastructure. PW creates long-tail value for learners by delivering high-quality education at a democratic price. PW is one of the rare startups with a profound understanding of the education that BHARAT today needs. The founder’s focus on learning outcomes of students excites us and we look forward to a long partnership with them”.
Deborah Quazzo, Managing Partner, GSV Ventures, said “While many pundits say that the bloom is off the rose for Indian edtech, we at GSV Ventures believe the flowers are just beginning to bloom as extraordinary entrepreneurs are democratizing learning and skills delivery for the 90% of India still untouched by the edtech revolution. One such company is PW (PhysicsWallah), which we are proud to be co-leading its first round of investment with WestBridge. Led by renowned YouTube STEM educator, Alakh Pandey and tech executive PrateekMaheshwari, the company is disrupting the test preparation market (today JEE and NEET) delivering low-cost solutions of the highest quality with extraordinary learning outcomes for over 6mm students and growing. GSV Ventures’ mission is for ALL people to have equal access to the future and PW is delivering on that mission AT SCALE.”
To ensure quality education to students, PW follows stringent quality standards across its hiring mechanism. The firm currently has 1900 employees, including 500 teachers and 90-100 tech experts. It also has 200 associate professors available to answer student queries and another 200 professionals to create exam questions and term papers. “The company has been profitable since inception with positive cash flows and reserves,” said Pandey. “Our revenue grew 9-fold in the year 2021-2022 vis-a-vis 2020-2021. Our current run rate for FY 2023 is at $65 Million,” he added.
As part of its upcoming growth plans, PW is already gearing up to launch educational content in 9 vernacular languages, including Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Odia, Malayalam, and Kannada. The core idea behind this step is to reach every corner of the country and connect with 250 million+ students by 2025. The firm looks to bridge the accessibility gap by opening 20 offline coaching classrooms, aka Pathshala, across India. PW has established more than 20 centres across 18 cities with more than 10,000 students enrolled for 2022-2023 session.