Unacademy’s Strategic Decision: Turning Down Lucrative Debt & M&A Opportunities

Navigating the EdTech Landscape: Unacademy’s Resilience in the Face of Tempting Offers and Strategic Decisions


In a recent revelation, Gaurav Munjal, the CEO and founder of the edtech unicorn Unacademy, shared some invaluable insights into the company‘s strategic decisions over the past two years. Among the notable decisions were rejecting a tempting $500 million debt offer and turning away from various merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities. Despite facing criticism at the time, Munjal now believes these choices have proven to be correct.

Saying No to Lucrative Opportunities:

Unacademy‘s bold move to decline a substantial $500 million debt offer may have raised eyebrows, but Munjal stands by the decision. The rejection of such a significant financial opportunity indicates a deliberate choice to prioritize the company’s long-term vision over immediate gains. Additionally, Munjal mentioned turning down several M&A opportunities, suggesting a commitment to maintaining Unacademy’s independence and unique identity in the competitive edtech landscape.

Facing Criticism and Justifying Choices:

The decisions to reject lucrative offers were met with skepticism and criticism within the industry. Munjal acknowledges the flak Unacademy received but asserts that the outcomes have vindicated these choices. As the edtech sector continues to evolve, it becomes apparent that Unacademy’s strategic foresight may serve as a guiding principle for other companies navigating similar dilemmas.

Blitzscaling Approach Reconsidered:

Gaurav Munjal also weighed in on the widely embraced blitzscaling approach within the edtech sector. Contrary to the prevailing trend, he expressed the belief that the aggressive pursuit of rapid growth may not be the most effective strategy. This insight challenges the industry norm and suggests that a more measured and sustainable approach could be the key to long-term success.

Optimism About Online Learning:

Despite the challenges and tough decisions, Munjal remains optimistic about the future of online learning. Undeterred by the naysayers, he believes that the edtech sector is here to stay. This confidence stems from Unacademy’s resilience and adaptability, as evidenced by a notable 60% reduction in cash burn in 2023.


Unacademy’s journey of saying no to tempting debt offers and M&A opportunities offers a compelling case study in strategic decision-making. Gaurav Munjal’s reflections provide valuable lessons for companies in the edtech space and beyond, emphasizing the importance of a long-term vision, strategic independence, and a measured approach to growth. As the industry continues to evolve, Unacademy stands as a testament to the power of strategic foresight in navigating the complexities of the business landscape.

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