Edtech startup Invact Metaversity, founded by former Twitter India chief Manish Maheshwari and senior software engineer at Microsoft, Tanay Pratap, is likely to shut just months after getting some prominent names like Future Group’s Kishore Biyani among its investors.
Manish Maheshwari, Founder and CEO, Invact Metaversity on Monday tweeted that the startup is exploring possibilities to pivot or return the unspent capital to investors. He also said it may consider letting one of the founders take full charge.
Maheshwari's tweet comes after the startup's first batch of MBA course - which was to begin on May 12 with a cohort of 60 students - got cancelled. The Morning Context first reported about the cancellation of the course amid a rift between the founders.
Maheshwari said in the tweet that the course was cancelled because it ran into technological and ecosystem challenges. Any fee paid by students was fully refunded along with interest and an "unqualified apology".
He said that differences with his co-founder emerged on the vision.
"Our purpose was clear: we wanted to use Metaverse to make education accessible and interactive for students, but things didn't turn out as hoped," he added.
He said that the return of unspent capital is being considered because it sets an example of how to execute fast, learn fast and not commit oneself to building an undifferentiated product just because one has capital. We will take a final decision shortly, he added.
The startup also looked for potential buyers and explored placement/acqui-hires of employees, according to an email sent by co-founder Pratap to its investors. However, the sale process was abandoned on 18 May as no buyer would purchase it at their desired price.
After its launch last year, Invact Metaversity, operated by Invact School Pvt Ltd, raised an undisclosed amount at $33 million (around $256 crore) valuation from Future Group’s Kishore Biyani, TV Mohandas Pai of Manipal Global Education and former Facebook India head Kirthiga Reddy, among other investors, earlier in February. The same month, it also announced a seed capital of $5 million (around Rs 37 crore) from global venture capital firms including Arkam Ventures, Antler India, Picus Capital, M Venture Partners, BECO Capital and 2am VC.