Edtech startup PhysicsWallah to launch 26 Vidyapeeth offline centres

Edtech unicorn PhysicsWallah on Friday said it is launching 26 offline centres across India, in as many cities. The centres are called PW Vidyapeeth.

Currently, the Noida-based startup has 67 centres operational in 38 cities. The offline centres will offer a curriculum for engineering and medical entrance examinations.

“By expanding our tech enabled offline Vidyapeeth Centres across cities, our goal is to ensure access to quality education for students in their own towns, eliminating the need for them to relocate to education hubs in distant cities,” said Ankit Gupta, CEO of the startup’s offline centres vertical.

The company had reportedly rolled out 50 offline centres in May this year, with an investment of around Rs 82 crore in technologies. In July, it launched the PW Institute of Innovation (PW IOI), a four-year residential programme in computer science and AI.

Founded by Alakh Pandey and Prateek Maheshwari, PhysicsWallah gained unicorn status last year, when it raised $100 million in its maiden funding round from WestBridge Capital and GSV Ventures, at a valuation of more than $1.1 billion.

For the financial year through March 2022, it reported standalone operating revenue of Rs 232.48 crore, a nine-fold increase from the previous year. Net profit for FY22 increased to Rs 97.8 crore from Rs 6.93 crore.

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Post-pandemic, edtech startups have been reeling under the pressure as demand for online and digital education in the K-12 and examination preparation has gone down. This has prompted players such as Byju’s, Unacademy and Vedantu to invest in offline centres.

While Unacademy announced multiple rounds of layoffs, it also expanded its offline centres from 10 to around 58, in the first half of 2023.

Vedantu also counts its hybrid centres as one of its key growth levers. The Tiger Global-backed startup had bought a majority stake in offline test prep business Deeksha for $40 million.

ET had reported in December about how major edtechs across the board are expected to move away from the K-12 business model and focus on priorities such as a bigger offline play in 2023.

In Byju’s case, its 302 offline tuition centres across 143 towns also double up as office spaces. Each has an office room for sales staff. This has helped ease the Bengaluru-based startup’s real estate spaces consolidation plans that have gone hand-in-hand with its layoffs.

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