A Case Study Of Unicorn Physics Wallah


It was in news everywhere when India overtook the third place with 54 UNICORNS in 2021, this was spread all over the world that India overtook UK to third place in Unicorn startups, USA on first place and china on second place. Many of us don’t even know about Unicorn, so, what is Unicorn? In 2013, venture capitalist Aileen Lee personified the term ‘Unicorn’ with in the startup ecosystem to indicate the rarity of startups with a valuation of over $1 billion by private entrepreneurs, this name has been taken from the imaginary animal Unicorn which is very unique and different, we often watch it in many animated movies like ‘Barbie’. As many startups are on the basis of the imagination of one or more persons with unique, new and different in ideas that’s the reason it named as ‘Unicorn’. 

India was having 54 Unicorns in 2021, but at the end of the year there were 86 Unicorns in total, India got its first Unicorn in 2011 that was ‘InMobi’, it was in news on 3May,2022 ‘neobank open’ was the 100th Unicorn in India it was even tweeted by Union Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal on 2May,2022. On 7June,2022 the PW (Physics Wala) was the listed as the 101st Unicorn Startup which is one of the most successful unicorn till date. Silicon India Startup City had posted that ‘India to have 150 Unicorns by 2025’. 

It has been a long and eventful journey for Indian startups ecosystem, which is showing the trend that India is moving towards innovation and on its fast track to developing, India also celebrate National Startup Day that is observed on 16th January.


The Unicorn Startup Physics Wallah is the most revolutionary in the Indian unicorn startup ecosystem as for today, this startup is a strong player in the Indian Ed-Tech Space. It was founded by Alakh Pandey who is a college dropout. He started his journey from 2014 when he started his YouTube channel. Hindustan Times posted on December 18,2023 that PW have 80 YouTube channels in 8 vernacular languages, it has 10 millions paid students on its PW app and PW providing Quality Education to more than 36 millions of students in India. PW also started its offline centres named ‘Vidyapeeth Centre’, 2023 they added 50 more offline centres which currently in total are 64 centres in different cities of India and it was told to The Economic Times by the co-founder of PW Prateek Maheshwari that they are aiming to expand to 100 centres in India.

Alakh Pandey belongs to the lower middle class family of Allahabad, it was his childhood dream to go to IIT, but his family’s financial condition didn’t gave him this opportunity and he didn’t get proper couching. His parents had sale out their house for the education of Alakh Pandey and his sister. After the completion of 12th class he took admission in Harcourt Butler Technical University, Kanpur for Mechanical Engineering. To support his family financially he started giving tuition classes to small kids since 8th standard, even during his college time he taught engineering aspirants. He was very interested in his studies since childhood but he didn’t like the way of teaching of the professors in HBTU, that’s the reason he dropout from the college in his third year. After leaving the college he joined a local couching institute and started giving full time teaching, firstly he started this job because of the financial pressure but later he started enjoying this, developed interest in teaching and realised that teaching was his real passion.

Alakh Pandey thought, in India many parents are not able to afford the cost of quality education for their children as Alakh Pandey had gone through the same. So, he wanted to provide his teaching to as many children as possible. He started offline coaching but there was a problem he could only provide his teaching to a limited batch of students. At this point, Alakh Pandey’s friend suggested him, why don’t he start a YouTube channel with this he would be able to teach thousands of students at a time. He felt this idea wonderful, so with the investment of ₹30000 he bought a smartphone, tripod and a whiteboard. The videos were recorded at night, at the same one-room dwelling. That room had no fans nor proper lights and housed his family.  

On 28January,2014  he started his YouTube channel named Physics Wallah. But it was very hard period for him, from 2014 to the end of 2017 as he only got 10000 subscribers on his channel. But later students started to understand his lectures and also liked his teaching style, on March 2019 he got 1million subscribers. He was doing well with his YouTube channel but he realised that if he wanted to prepared the students for their exams, he had to take a step ahead from YouTube. As he kept touching higher peaks, his lifestyle did not change. He started upgrading his teaching equipment so that his created content would be higher quality. That’s all where he splurged.

On 18May,2020 he launched his App Physics Wallah with the association of Indian Entrepreneur Prateek Maheshwari the co-founder of PW. Physics Wallah app got boomed after its launched due to within one week more than three lakhs people had download it and on fourth day more than 35 thousands students enrolled themselves with the courses of PW app. Because of too many traffic in the beginning of the days this app was crashing again and again. Other Ed-Tech companies had thought, PW would be the biggest competitor for them in the future. So one of the ed-tech company gave Alakh Pandey a offer of 40 crores salary, so that this competition end there, but Alakh Pandey rejected that offer. But later again the same company came with another offer of 75 crores for the 10% Equity of PW, this offer also rejected by Alakh Pandey.

These companies failed to corner PW, they played another strategy inviting PW teachers into their company by offering crores of rupees to them, they thought by this strategy PW would be end. Alakh Pandey did not accept this he came live on his YouTube channel Physics Wallah and challenged these companies by saying, “If you take one teacher from me I will stand thousand Alakh Pandey” , after this statement many PW students supported PW by trolling those companies. To save their reputation those ed-tech companies moved back.

Companies in the test-prep space, such as Unacademy, Vedantu and Toppr, were losing money north of Rs. 100 cr. Per month. PW chalked up a formula that balanced the books and led to profit.

The secret was a freemium model that turned free YouTube content into a gateway for premium courses. Free lessons on YouTube acted as the ‘hook’. Eager learners got a taste of PW’s teaching style. High-quality content kept them coming back for more. The real magic, however, was in the transition, moving from free viewers to paid subscribers. PW’s offerings were attractive to students. They balanced affordability with quality, making top-notch education accessible to all.

Was ed-tech companies like BYJU’s and Unacademy were dominating the market then how a small startup  PW place in the market?


“Zindagi  mai  harna  koi  buri  baat  nhi  hai

buri  baat  h  apni  haar  se  seekh  na  lena.”


Alakh Pandey himself – It is PW YouTube channel or PW ed-tech company reason behind their success is all Alakh Pandey. As he has very unique teaching style, he teaches in funny way which makes boring topics interesting and help students understand easily. Cracking jokes, making poetry and motivational quotes while teaching. Alakh Pandey had made a team of 1500 members in just two years. Physics Wallah is working on Alakh AI, a generative artificial intelligence (AI) study guide which will be language-agnostic. The AI program will seek to provide both academic and non-academic support to students. It has been named after the company’s other cofounder, Alakh Pandey. The firm will launch Alakh AI in February 2024.

Affordable Price of the Courses – If you know when the PW app was launched in 2020, in it he provided a course of physics named ‘LAKSHYA’ in just ₹999 for complete course that means students could learn and get knowledge of the course for the whole year in very affordable price. He offered these types of rates for so that the quality education could reach even to those students who left their dreams of studying NEET/JEE/IIT/PMT or any  other engineering courses just because of the high cost of education. That was the reason, in just few weeks more than 70000 students enrolled themselves with this course, even in the current scenario PW has 10 times less prices of its courses than BYJU’S and Unacademy. Where BYJU’S and Unacademy provide IIT education in ₹30000 to ₹50000, PW provides in just ₹3000 to ₹5000.

Why PW provides these courses in cheapest prices?

So well, here is the wonderful market strategy of the PW for providing cheapest prices, before entering into the ed-tech market PW analysed that all the other Ed-Tech start-ups in India only targeting people in Tier-1 cities which was likely just 10-15 percentage of the market but no one focussing on the 80% people of the market. So, PW kept it’s prices low so that they can reach to the Tier-2, Tier-3 and village areas that means if the Unacademy and BYJU’S teaching 1 lakh students on the other hand PW is teaching more than 10 lakh students which helped PW to capture the Ed-tech market. 

Current Prices of the Courses for 2024

  • JEE Ultimate Crash Course 2.0 2024 at ₹1499
  • JEE Ultimate Crash Course 2024 at ₹1999
  • LAKSHYA JEE Fastrack 2024 at ₹1999
  • ARJUNA JEE 4.0 2024 (for JEE 2025 aspirants) at ₹1999
  • VARUN JEE Advanced 2024 at ₹499

Low Promotion Cost – The success of PW is also because of its low promotion cost strategy, in 2021 PW did not use any money for this, still 95% traffic on its platform was organic it because all the work of marketing and promotion had done through their YouTube channel. Currently PW has 80 YouTube channels in 8 vernacular languages.


1.Unacademy with $881 million funding.

2.BYJU’S with $5.08 billion funding.

3.GoStudent with $779 million funding.

4.Vedantu with $331 million funding.

5.Varsity Tutors with $107 million funding.


1.WestBridge Capital, located in Quatre Bornes (Mauritius), made their first investment in Physics Wallah on Jun 07, 2022 in its Series A round.

2.GSV Ventures, located in San Francisco (United States), made their first investment in Physics Wallah on Jun 07, 2022 in its Series A round.

3.MMPL Trust, located in Bengaluru (India), made their first investment in Physics Wallah on Jun 07, 2022 in its Series A round.

4.Konark Trust, located in Bengaluru (India), made their first investment in Physics Wallah on Jun 07, 2022 in its Series A round.


(Source: tracxn.com (Tracxn) updated on 1february,2024)

81.82% share hold by the founder of PW

9.09% by fund

oWestBridge Capital

oGSV Venture 

9.09% by ESOP Pool



1.Knowledge Planet :- DATE: March 2023, PURPOSE: Expansion in Middle East and North African region.

2.iNeuron :- DATE: December 2022, PURPOSE: Strengthen skilling arm PW Skills.

3.PrepOnline :- DATE: October 2022, PURPOSE: Strengthen NEET, other government exams, Preparation segements.

4.Altis Vortex :- DATE: October 2022, PURPOSE: Strengthen editorial team, create study materials for exams like GATE, UPSC, and NEET PG.

5.Freeco :- DATE: August 2022, PURPOSE: Strengthen doubt-solving offerings.

Joint Venture

6.Utkarsh Classes :- DATE: February 2023, PURPOSE: Provide training and course offerings in various categories, foray into new exam categories

PW also provide free tele-consultation services for students, the name of this tele-consultation platform is ‘PW Prerna’.


Physics Wallah is working on Alakh AI, The firm will launch Alakh AI in February 2024.

Target to expand 100 offline centres till 2024

Students continue to connect from remote areas but don’t have access to a reliable internet connection. The firm is designing classes which can be provided in ultra-low bandwidth to students from tier-5 cities of the country.

Target to generate revenue 2500 crores by 2024.



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