|Saini (File photo; Courtesy: Twitter)|
Unacademy, a free online learning platform co-founded by IAS-turned entrepreneur Roman Saini on Wednesday announced raising an additional $1 million (Rs 6.7 crore) from some of the known start-up names including Flipkart's Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal, Paytm's Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and FreeCharge's Kunal Shah. Earlier this year, Unacademy raised $500,000, its first round of external funding round. Apart from Saini, who is a doctor-turned-IAS-turned-entrepreneur, there are…three others -- Gaurav Munjal, Hemesh Singh and Sachin Gupta -- who first launched the platform as an educational YouTube channel. Unacademy was officially launched in January 2016.
It’s a large free online learning platform where educators create video modules of courses including various competitive examinations such as civil services exams which select IAS, IPS, IRS etc. According to Unacdemy’s estimate, it receives more than one million video views per month.
Former IPS officer and Puducherry’s Lt. Governor of Kiran Bedi and 2016 IAS topper Tina Dabi, among others, are some of Unacademy’s educators. Bedi has recently urged Unacademy to conduct lessons and workshops in the Union territory of Puducherry.
The news reports covering yesterday's $1 million deal also mention how 3,00,000 students have benefited from approximately 2,400 online lessons offered by the platform. Some of the students have also cracked UPSC examinations.
Hailing from Jaipur in Rajasthan, Saini got enrolled into Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences for his MBBS after clearing the AIIMS entrance exam at the age of 16, according to Wikipedia. And at the age of 22, he cleared the 2013 Civil Services Examination in his first attempt and secured 18th rank. After the probation, he became the assistant collector in Jabalpur, but he then took what many would say a huge risk i.e. quitting IAS to follow his passion in teaching and training.