With Relevel, Unacademy wants a piece of the talent hiring pie

The news of the edtech route has been unfolding for all to see, with multiple rounds of layoffs across online learning companies, curbs on spending, and closure of non-profitable business verticals.

UnacademyIndia’s second most-valued edtech startup, is no exception with CEO Gaurav Munjal recently announcing pay cuts for founders and top management, along with other cost-cutting measures—despite the company having a cash runway of Rs 2,800 crore.

In an email sent on July 11, titled ‘Frugality,’ Gaurav also said that the company was closing some of its business verticals which had failed to find a product-market fit, such as the global test prep product, apart from ending its sponsorship of IPL.

On the other hand, the edtech giant’s job hunting platform Relevel has not only survived closure but has been thriving.

Last month, Gaurav took to Twitter to announce that the talent assessment and skilling platform, Relevel—an Unacademy group company, was set to cross $12 million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) for June 2022.

Launched in August 2021, Relevel was envisioned as the one-stop solution for graduates from non-premier institutions looking to land their dream job. The platform conducts free tests for candidates across 19 different categories. If the candidates score above 500it creates a personalized profile for them, which is displayed for the consideration of recruiters.

Shashank Murali, CEO of Relevel by Unacademytells YourStory that the idea behind creating a separate platform for job hunting was to ensure transparency for candidates.

“Most companies we saw would hire through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). ATS picks predefined keywords, and every company uses pretty much the same keywords,” says Shashank.

Shashank Murali, CEO of Relevel by Unacademy

Journey so far

Originally conceptualized as Unacademy Pro, Relevel was built from scratch by its 900 people strong team. Its leadership includes Shashank Muraliwho joined Unacademy after it acquired the future-of-work platform TapChief in February 2021. Seven months later, the edtech startup acquired game streaming platform Rheo TV, with its founders, Saksham Keshri other Prakash Kumarjoining the Relevel team.

The platform not only saw a massive infusion of $20 million from the parent company to build out the product, but also hasn’t seen any layoffs. This is especially significant at a time when Unacademy has let go of nearly 1,000 employees across verticals in separate rounds. The company seems to be betting big on the assessment and skilling play as test prep moves back offline with students returning to classes and coaching centres.

In less than a year from launch, Relevel claims that over three lakh applicants register for its assessment tests every month. It also claims a registered user base of 28 lakhs.

Key metrics for Relevel by Unacademy

“The platform has delivered more than Rs 50 crore worth of jobs in annual CTC (cost-to-company) till mid-June 2022. Around 80 percent of the users who have received job offers are freshers, while the remaining 20 percent are working professionals who have received a 94 percent salary increase on average. In June 2022, Relevel delivered 300-plus job offers, making it the best performing month for the platform,” says Shashank.

The platform also offers Relevel Courses—with duration ranging from three to eleven months—targeted at candidates who fail to make the 500-mark cut. Starting from Rs 35,000 for a three-month coursethey feature live classes, doubt-solving sessions, progress tracking, and mock interviews.

The Relevel platform does not charge test-takers or the companies hiring through the platform. The only monetization channel is its upskilling offering.

“From August 2021 to October 2021, we heard back from the candidates saying that they did not know what the industry needed or that they did not have the avenues to learn. That is when we decided to launch affordable courses and that is our only source of monetization. We will never charge test takers,” he adds.

Unacademy’s foray beyond test prep

Competition

With the Relevel offering, Unacademy, which plans to go public within the next couple of years, is targeting the lucrative yet competitive market of assessment service providers—dominated by global names like Mettl, SHL, Hackerrank, and others. Its upskilling and certification offering competes with the likes of homegrown unicorns upGrad and Eruditus Executive Education, as well as global players such as Degreed and Udemy. Recently, GirnarSoft-backed CollegeDekho also announced its entry into the space with the launch of its hiring and skilling platform, Assured.

According to Emergen Research, the global assessment services market is projected to reach $11.47 billion by 2027, driven by the trend of selecting potential candidates through online tests and a rise in the number of youth jobseekers.

According to Siddhartha Gupta, CEO of HRtech and talent assessment company, metallic, the addressable market for talent and skill assessments for corporates alone is over $5.5 billion. He further adds that the investment in developing learning content takes time and players in the sector need specialized skills for creating content, mapping it to learning outcomes and making it engaging for learners.

Mettl was acquired by global consulting company Mercer for nearly Rs 300 crore in 2018.

“We are a neutral assessor of skills and knowledge. When it comes to providing our opinions, we simply share multiple options through our line of products with our customers. We don’t give recommendations,” says Siddhartha.

Unlike Relevel, Mettl charges companies on its platform for finding the right talent fit. Siddhartha adds that being a learning content creator puts additional pressure on an assessment company to show results, justifying the reason to stay away from creating a separate vertical for certification.

While Relevel’s approach is different, its commitment to finding jobs within 15 days is going to be put to test as it scales amid recession fears.

“Once a candidate passes the test, they get about five interview opportunities with different companies so that they can crack at least one of them. It is a supply-demand problem and we make sure that enough companies are hiring for the role the candidate has applied for,” says Shashank.

Till then, Shashank says that Relevel plans on finding an elegant solution for companies to hire the right candidates for any role.

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