Edtech unicorn Physics Wallah acquires two edtech startups

Physics Wallah acquires two edtech startups

Online education venture Physics Wallah, which recently became a unicorn, has acquired PrepOnline, an online learning platform for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), and Altis Vortex, a publisher of exam preparation books.

The acquisition amounts were not disclosed.

The acquisitions have come at a time when Physics Wallah is eyeing new acquihires this year, as it looks to expand geographically, strengthen its leadership team and foray into newer test preparation categories.

The company is also earmarking $20 million for acquisitions this year from the recent fundraise, Co founder Prateek Maheshwari said.

In June, Physics Wallah, which was launched during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 by Alakh Pandey and Maheshwari, raised $100 million from Westbridge and GSV Ventures, at a post-money valuation of $1.1 billion.

The acquisition of PrepOnline will help Physics Wallah bolster its presence in the NEET category, as it looks at unique ways of delivering online content for exam aspirants, and enhance its teaching infrastructure.

The company acquired its first firm, doubt solving edtech company FreeCo, in August.

Physics Wallah has a business vertical that deliver books and study materials.

Altis Vortex will allow the edtech unicorn – or private companies with a valuation of $1 billion or more – to bolster its content vertical, as it looks to bring different book titles and study materials for its students.

“We partnered with PrepOnline six months into our inception and both brands grew together. Fundamentally, we were looking at unique forms of content creation (for test preparation), especially in the NEET segment,” Maheshwari said. “So, to strengthen our content arm, we looked at these acquisitions. We aspire to become the most affordable online bookstore for the test preparation audience. We will also look to launch our public consumer store post Diwali.”

Both PrepOnline and Altis Vortex were founded by Vivek Gaur and Manish Kumar in 2019 and 2015, respectively.

As part of the transaction, Gaur will join Physics Wallah as its chief growth officer.

PrepOnline’s YouTube channel has almost 400,000 subscribers which will also be redirected to Physics Wallah’s brand assets, with PrepOnline ceasing to be a standalone brand, moving forward.

Physics Wallah is looking to also enter the skilling domain and newer test preparation categories such as banking examinations, Common Admission Test (CAT), according to Maheshwari.

“Our acquisition thesis is more towards acqui-hiring, where we are looking to have better entrepreneur leadership in place. We are also entering into multiple exam categories, so we are considering better content creation areas or the missing segments in those categories, as we build. We are aspiring to go global and will look at international assets as well,” he said, referring to potential acquisitions.

Physics Wallah provides comprehensive learning sessions for students aspiring for NEET, JEE Mains and board examinations. In June this year, the company also forayed into offline learning with the launch of its centre PW Vidyapeeth in Kota, Rajasthan.

PrepOnline is an online test preparation platform for exams like NEET and Common University Entrance Test (CUET). Altis, which has published over 150 books, covers exams like Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), Staff Selection Commission (SSC), NEET, and CUET, among others.

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