EP Report / New Delhi
The growing edtech industry in India is making headlines not only for their core competence of ‘coaching’ but also ‘poaching’ of faculties from rival firms.
Upping the ante, equity funded edtech Adda247 has allegedly poached some teachers from rival edtech PhysicsWallah, a unicorn, for astronomical sums.
According to a report in Moneycontrol.com, WestBridge Capital-backed Adda247, “which also counts Google on its cap table, allegedly spent as much as Rs 100 crore to poach five teachers from PhysicsWallah, another WestBridge Capital-backed company, to start a platform on YouTube called Sankalp, people familiar with the matter told Moneycontrol.”
About five prominent officials and teachers left PhysicsWallah and started the YouTube channel last month.
In October 2022, PW bought the government job preparation platform PrepOnline to enter the domain, which was Adda247’s core business.
In fact, poaching is not a new concept or unusual in the domestic coaching industry; every once in a while, the industry witnesses an attempt by competitors to lure teachers.
Alakh Pandey started PhysicsWallah in 2016 with the stated mission to serve students with affordable and best-in-class education. He was joined by several teachers with the same vision to empower students.
Nonetheless, the two edtech platforms have been trading charges with allegations and counter allegations flying thick and fast.
Meanwhile, reports said PhysicsWallah is looking to raise $250 million at a valuation of $3.3 billion. The edtech came into limelight last year after reporting a profit of nearly Rs 100 crore, thus becoming the only profitable edtech unicorn.
In June 2022, PhysicsWallah raised $100 million from WestBridge Capital and GSV Ventures at a valuation of $1.1 billion.
On the other hand, Adda247 raised $64 million across six funding rounds and, according to Tracxn Technologies, it was last valued at $170 million post-money in October 2022.
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In FY22, the company logged revenue from operations of Rs 62 crore and a net loss of Rs 158 crore. The biggest expense of Rs 130 crore was accounted for by finance costs, unlike other edtech companies, which normally spend the biggest kitty on employees.