Unacademy Business Model Explained – Case Study

Unacademy Business Model

In this article, we will shed light on the “Unacademy Business Model” and will also explain its numerous revenue sources. 

Unacademy Business Model

“Studying in a physical classroom” is a conventional form of education. But if you are given a choice of studying in an online classroom in the comfort zone of your room. It won’t be less than a boon right?   Do you know, in remote places students have to travel long distances to other cities to prepare for competitive exams? Also, they may be unaware of the latest methods and updated scenarios of national-level exams. Unacademy caught this loophole in the conventional education of our country and utilized it as a golden opportunity. How? You may ask. By introducing online classrooms and coaching! It is one of the most successful ed-tech startups in our country. All of this has been possible due to its productive business model.

Here, the explanation begins!

Unacademy: A Brief Overview

Before exploring the Unacademy business model, let’s have a quick overview of the company.

Company’s NameUnadacemy
Type of Industrial SegmentEd-tech company 
FoundersGaurav Munjal (CEO), Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh
Founding Year2015
HeadquartersBengaluru (Karnataka, India)
Type of BrandB2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Customers)
Market ValuationRs.114.6 crore
Revenue (FY22)Rs.844 crore
Expenses (FY22)Rs.3,703 crore
Net Profit/Loss (FY22)Loss of Rs.2,848 crore
CompetitorsByju’s, PhysicsWallah, Vedantu, etc.
Unacademy: A Brief Overview

Working Strategy: How does it work?

Working strategy of Unacademy Business Model

Unacademy operates in B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Customers) segments. Its working strategy involves the following-

Educational Content Creation

Can you guess who the target audience of Unacademy is? Students! Yes, the students or learners are the core of an ed-tech company. So what should you serve the learners to grab more attention? The answer is educational content! In order to flourish in the ed-tech market, Unacademy collaborates with qualified educators. They create top-notch educational content in the form of video lessons, live classes, quizzes, and study materials. Do you know why Unacademy puts a high focus on video lectures? Because when you learn from video lectures, you use both visual and auditory memory. As a result, it improves your cognitive function and you retain the information for a long time! Thus, Unacademy creates and offers a diverse range of educational content related to various academic subjects and national entrance exams. This strategy helps to attract students to learn through Unacademy’s platform.

Freemium Model

The next part after content creation is to make it accessible to the students. That’s why Unacadmey works on the Freemium Model. This means, Unacademy provides free access to a vast library of educational content. You can browse through different subjects, topics, and courses and access video lessons and study materials without any cost. It mostly contains pre-recorded videos. This strategy is effective to create a large user base and build deep engagement within the platform.

Subscription Model

While the basic content is free, Unacademy offers additional premium features and benefits through subscription plans. You can opt for paid subscriptions to access the following features-

  • Exclusive Content (latest & updated)
  • Attend live doubt-clearing sessions
  • Participate in mock tests
  • Receive personalized guidance

Thus, the subscription model of Unacademy allows you to select the level of engagement and access to additional resources. You can choose them according to your needs and preferences. You need to pay a monthly fee or annual fee for the premium courses.

Exam Preparation and Test Series

Unacademy offers specialized courses and test series for various competitive exams, such as-

  • UPSC
  • SSC
  • Banking
  • Railways
  • Engineering Entrance Exams
  • Medical Entrance Exams

These exam-specific courses often come at an additional cost, providing targeted preparation to students aspiring for these exams.

Quick Note: You can get some very useful ExamSnap CompTIA certifications to boost your resume.

Corporate Partnerships

Unacademy forms partnerships with educational institutions, colleges, and universities to provide online courses and certification programs. These collaborations enhance the credibility of the courses offered by Unacademy and expand its reach to a wider audience.

Placements

This is the latest feature launched by Unacademy. The placement platform of Unacademy is called “Relevel.” It is specially designed to connect job seekers with job providers. Meaning you can find the job of your choice within 15 days of application. Not just that, but you will also get access to courses specialized for your dream job! Relevel claims a 100% placement rate with over 2.35 lakh users. 

Relevel conducts the following tests for candidates seeking jobs-

  • Front-end Development
  • Back-end Development
  • Business Development

As of 2022, Unacademy’s Relevel crosses $10 million in Annual Recurring Revenue.

Unacademy App & YouTube Channel

As you know, Unacademy began its journey as a YouTube channel before launching its app. Why? You may ask. Because, to make an app successful, you need a large user base and a loyal audience. Therefore, Unacademy grabbed a large number of viewers on its YouTube channel after which it switched to the Unacademy app. Well, it continues to put lectures on the YouTube channel and upgrades its app simultaneously. However, in the current scenario, Unacademy runs different YouTube channels. Each channel is specialized according to the course domain. Such as-

  • Unacademy JEE
  • Unacademy NEET
  • Unacademy Banking
  • Unacademy UPSC

Unacademy store

Unacademy Offline Coaching Centres

The company has planned to launch its offline store called “Unacademy Store.” It will offer offline coaching centers. The prime objective of Unacademy stores is to develop a physical presence in the test preparation market. Some of its offline centers have begun functioning in the following cities-

  • Kota
  • Jaipur
  • Bengaluru
  • Chandigarh
  • Ahmedabad
  • Patna
  • Pune
  • Delhi

Revenue Sources: How Does it Make Money?

Do you know, Unacademy earned revenue of Rs.844 crore in FY22? The primary sources of revenue are the sale of services, the sale of education materials, other incomes, etc. You can look at the details below-

Subscription Plans- Unacademy Plus

Unacademy plus subscription

As you have read above, Unacademy uses a subscription model to offer premium courses by charging fees. You can subscribe on a monthly or annual basis to access the exclusive educational content discussed in the previous section.

Sale of Education Materials

Unacademy notes

Education Materials refer to books, notes, test papers, and tablets. Well, these are the essence of any coaching institute. Be it offline or online! Unacademy is no different. It provides complimentary access to digital study material to subscribed users. It provides physical study materials too i.e. printed books and notes. You can purchase them independently of any subscriptions. Thus, it acts as an important revenue source for the Unacademy business model.

Revenue-Sharing with Educators

If you utilize educational content on YouTube then you must be aware of the fact that Unacademy collaborates with educators. Those educators are qualified enough to have their own YouTube channel and large audience. These collaborations not only act as a marketing strategy for Unacademy but also help it to earn revenue. These educators deliver supreme quality educational content on their platforms. They receive a share of the revenue generated from the subscription fees. The revenue-sharing model incentivizes educators to create high-quality content and engage with the platform. Also, their earnings are directly linked to the popularity and effectiveness of their courses.

Advertisements and Sponsorships

Unacademy generates revenue through advertisements and sponsorships. They partner with brands and advertisers to display targeted ads on their platform or sponsor specific courses or events. Advertisers benefit from reaching a large audience of students and learners on the platform, and Unacademy earns revenue through these advertising partnerships. The advertisers also target Unacademy YouTube Channel because it has over 100k subscribers and over 3 billion views.

Marketing Strategies of Unacademy

Marketing Strategies of Unacademy

Unacademy business model employs various marketing strategies to promote its online learning platform and attract users. Some of the key marketing strategies are-

Digital Marketing

Unacademy heavily relies on digital marketing to reach its target audience. They utilize the following online channels to create brand awareness such as-

All of these help Unacademy engage with potential users and drive traffic to their platform.

Collaborations

Who could be an influencer for ed-tech platforms? Those are renowned educators. Unacademy partners with famous educators of different fields to promote their platform. These influencers and educators endorse Unacademy. They create content related to the platform and encourage their followers to join and utilize Unacademy for their learning needs.

Referral Programs

Unacademy employs referral programs to encourage users to refer their friends and acquaintances to the platform. Users are incentivized with rewards, discounts, or exclusive features when they successfully refer new users. This strategy leverages the power of word-of-mouth marketing and harnesses the existing user base to expand the platform’s reach.
You can look at the table below to have a detailed view of earning rewards-

Subscription Amount Paid by Each RefereeReward for Referrer
Rs.5,000 to Rs.9,999Gift Voucher Rs.500
Rs.10,000 to Rs.19,999Gift Voucher Rs.1,000
Rs.20,000 to Rs.49,999Gift Voucher Rs.2,000
More than Rs.50,000Gift Voucher Rs.5,000
5 Subscriptions with each greater than Rs.10,000Laptop + Unacademy T-shirt
Referral Programs of Unacademy


Events and Webinars

Unacademy organizes and participates in events, webinars, and workshops related to education and exam preparation. They may conduct live classes, expert panels, or interactive sessions to showcase their platform’s capabilities and engage with potential users. These events serve as marketing opportunities to highlight Unacademy’s expertise and offerings.

Final Words

Unacademy business model revolves around providing free educational content, monetizing through subscription plans, revenue sharing with educators, advertising and sponsorships, specialized exam preparation, and corporate partnerships. Unacademy acquired numerous startups to expand its operations in specialized fields. It utilizes effective marketing strategies. This helps to create brand awareness, attract users and build a strong presence in the online learning space. 

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Published By: Supti Nandi
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Deepak Chauhan
Deepak Chauhan
3 months ago

very nice article. One query: Does Unacademy have Franchisee or COCO centers?