We believe we are on the path to becoming the biggest edtech app in India, Tanushree Nagori, the co-founder of Doubtnut, told The Ken in August 2019.

Doubtnut, an app-based platform to solve doubts from grade 6 all the way up to competitive exams, had taken off like a rocket ship. It had just raised Rs 3.3 crore ($436,000) in a funding round led by Sequoia Surge India in April 2019, and crossed 7 million monthly active users (MAU) within two years of operations. Only Indian edtech giants Byju’s and Unacademy had more MAUs. According to internal metrics shared by Nagori at the time, Doubtnut had even surpassed Byju’s daily user numbers between July and August of 2019.

At last count, India had over 4,000 edtech firms. To stand out, raise money from marquee investors, and rack up a large number of organic users is no mean feat. So it made sense when Nagori, via a text message, said: “We don’t intend on being acquired anytime soon.”

Eleven months on, Doubtnut has changed its mind.

According to a report report Entracker Byju’s in talks to acquire Doubtnut at a valuation of over $100 Mn Read more  by Entrackr, $10.5 billion-valued Byju’s is in late-stage talks to acquire Doubtnut in an all-cash deal. The transaction, say two sources The Ken spoke with, will value the two-year-old Doubtnut at just north of $100 million. Incidentally, both Byju’s and Doubtnut have marquee investors Tencent and Sequoia on their respective cap tables. On Friday, Byju’s raised raised TechCrunch Mary Meeker’s Bond backs Indian online learning startup Byju’s Read more  an undisclosed amount from Mary Meeker-backed Bond Capital. The 9-year-old startup, which has raised a total of $1.4 billion so far, was reportedly in the market to raise another $400 million.  

 What changed in 11 months?

“Doubtnut’s main bet was that they were an anti-Byju’s model,” says an edtech investor who’s watched Doubtnut’s rise closely. He wished not to be named. With 80-90% of its user base derived from tier-2 and -3 Indian towns, Doubtnut is a free service.

As The Ken reported reported The Ken Users flock but questions linger over Doubtnut, Brainly Read more in a previous story, paying Rs 15,000-20,000 ($199-264) for online courses is completely unviable for this demographic.


Olina Banerji

Based in Delhi, Olina writes about mega-trends in urban mobility, education, skilling and the environment, with a focus on how institutions and innovations can help cities grow sustainably. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics, and has worked previously with India Today and global non-profit Ashoka.

View Full Profile

Available exclusively to subscribers of The Ken India

This story is a part of The Ken India edition. Subscribe. Questions?


Annual Subscription

12-month access to 200+ stories, archive of 800+ stories from our India edition. Plus our premium newsletters, Beyond The First Order and The Nutgraf worth Rs. 99/month or $2/month each for free.

Rs. 2,750


Quarterly Subscription

3-month access to 60+ new stories with 3-months worth of archives from our India edition. Plus our premium newsletters, Beyond The First Order and The Nutgraf worth Rs. 99/month or $2/month each for free.

Rs. 1,750


Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

Rs. 500


Annual Subscription

12-month access to 150+ stories from Southeast Asia.

$ 120


Quarterly Subscription

3-month access to 35+ stories from Southeast Asia.

$ 50


Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

$ 20



What is The Ken?

The Ken is a subscription-only business journalism website and app that provides coverage across two editions - India and Southeast Asia.

What kind of stories do you write?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics.

We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

What do I get if I subscribe?

For subscribers of the India edition, we publish a new story every weekday, a premium daily newsletter, Beyond The First Order and a weekly newsletter - The Nutgraf.

For subscribers of the Southeast Asia edition, we publish a new story three days a week and a weekly newsletter, Strait Up.

The annual subscription will get you complete, exclusive access to our archive of previously published stories for your edition, along with access to our subscriber-only mobile apps, our premium comment sections, our newsletter archives and several other gifts and benefits.

Do I need to pay separately for your premium newsletters?

Nope. Paid, premium subscribers of The Ken get our newsletters delivered for free.

Does a subscription to the India edition grant me access to Southeast Asia stories? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

Do you offer an all-access joint subscription for both editions?

Not yet. If you’d like to access both editions, you’ll have to purchase two subscriptions separately - one for India and the other for Southeast Asia.

Do you offer any discounts?

No. We have a zero discounts policy.

Is there a free trial I can opt for?

We don’t offer any trials, but you can sign up for a free account which will give you access to the weekly free story, our archive of free stories and summaries of the paid stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

Do you offer refunds?

We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Please write to us at support@the-ken.com detailing the error or queries.