Edtech unicorn PhysicsWallah is reportedly planning to invest $10 million in its offline coaching vertical, Vidyapeeth School, in multiple tranches. The investment will be used to expand the reach of the Vidyapeeth programme to 300 schools in Tier-III and Tier-IV cities and towns by 2025-26.
The company will initially invest $5 Mn to set up infrastructure for its school-integrated course, with the remaining $5 Mn deployed towards creating content, development of pedagogy, and academic upgradation of schools.
Founded in 2020, PhysicsWallah largely caters to students preparing for engineering and medical entrance exams. It deploys technology to bring the edtech model to students. Last year, the company launched Vidyapeeth Schools, a physical tuition centre model that combines coaching for CBSE exams with other competitive tests such as NEET and JEE in the form of regular classroom instructions.
The offering has since been scaled to 39 schools across 34 districts in 10 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Bihar, and Assam.
The move is part of PhysicsWallah’s renewed focus on its offline vertical and to tap into the burgeoning physical tuition centre model. The company ties up with existing schools to offer its coaching services under the Vidyapeeth model.
The reports of capital infusion come at a time when the edtech platform has been dogged by a slew of concerns ranging from attrition of star teachers to a dented reputation in the aftermath of a public fracas involving the edtech major and some teachers. Complicating matters has been the intense competition that PhysicsWallah faces from incumbents such as BYJU’S and Unacademy in both online and offline space.
The edtech platform has seen a spree of students opting for refunds after the platform’s initial success. The startup also appears to have changed its core focus from just JEE and NEET to other courses such as UPSC, MBA, and GATE test preparations. PhysicsWallah has also undertaken a slew of acquisitions even as the overall online edtech model appears to be on shaky ground.
After a pandemic-fueled boom of 2021, the edtech mania came down with a crash as funding nearly halved to $2.4 Bn in 2022. The ongoing funding winter has seen many edtech startups take cost-cutting measures such as layoffs, shelving expansion plans, and pivoting to the offline model to cut down on expenses and leverage the phygital model.