PhysicsWallah invests in Knowledge Planet to scale operations in GCC region, compete with BYJU’S, Unacademy
Edtech unicorn PhysicsWallah (PW) has acquired UAE-based K-12 online learning platform Knowledge Planet for an undisclosed amount, with plans to expand into the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region by 2024.
The deal includes an investment in Knowledge Planet and the startup’s founders will continue to lead and scale operations in the GCC region. This acquisition comes at a time when several Indian edtech giants, including BYJU’S, Unacademy and upGrad, have expanded their operations to the Middle East to serve the growing Indian diaspora.
Alakh Pandey and Prateek Maheshwari founded the edtech in 2020 following the success of their YouTube channel of the same name. PW helps students prepare for Indian competitive exams such as NEET, JEE, GATE, UPSC and CDS. The startup recently inked a long-term joint venture with the online learning platform Utkarsh Classes to scale its offerings.
As of late 2022, PW also holds approximately 19.5 per cent stake in the online learning platform, iNeuron. However, earlier, the startup received negative publicity when a video of a tussle between an offline staff member and a student went viral. In FY22, PhysicsWallah’s net profit grew over 14 times YoY to Rs 97.8 crore, while its operating revenue grew nine times to Rs 232.5 crore.
Founded in 2011 by Monika Oli and Sachin Bharti Gupta, Knowledge Planet offers offline and online classes to K-12 students and test preparation classes for JEE and NEET exams to non-resident Indian students. The Dubai-based startup operates over 12 offices in the UAE region and claims to have served more than 2,500 students annually.
The acquisition comes at a challenging time for Indian edtech startups, as they face cash crunches, market inflation, and investor scepticism due to the reopening of schools and colleges. Consequently, edtech unicorns like BYJU’S, Unacademy, Vedantu and PhysicsWallah have pivoted to offline markets and restructured their operations, business models and sales strategies to reduce costs.