Bangalore Invact Metaversity, the edtech startup founded by former Twitter India boss Manish Maheshwari, is likely to settle within month of starting operation.
Twitter India head’s startup Invact Metaversity
Maheshwari’s irreconcilable differences with co-founder Tanay Pratap are said to be the reason for the move, according to an (email) Pratap sent to investor late Sunday detailing the crisis, as well as to several people familiar with the developments.
Invact Metaversity is also considering downsizing its workforce in the coming week, sources told ET.
ET has reviewed Pratap note, in which he also says that Maheshwari had turned down an exit offer from the company’s investors.
Maheshwari and Pratap, who founded the company in October last year, have had differences of opinion about the startup’s vision and execution and have raised these issues with their investors.
There was a breakdown in discussions between the two of us due to irreconcilable differences, Pratap said in the email.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Maheshwari also said the company was at a crossroads and was exploring various possibilities, including returning capital to investors.
When we started testing the initial version of the Metaversity platform with students, we realized that the immersive classroom and community experience was not being delivered to the level we had envisioned Therefore, we canceled the course before it started. Any fees paid by the students were fully refunded along with interest and unconditional apologies, he wrote on the microblogging platform.
We are now at a crossroads exploring possibilities such as (a) reducing the rate of consumption and switching to another idea, (b) letting one of the founders take over entirely, or (c) returning unspent capital to investors.
According to Pratap’s email, Maheshwari, who had previously worked at Flipkart, laid off the business team during the week of May 16. He instructed Pratap, who is his chief technology officer, to fire the tech team before the end of the month, as a possible sale or acquisition and the deal between the founders was no longer working.
Pratap and Maheshwari declined to comment, while the company did not respond to inquiries from ET as of press time on Monday.
On Maheshwari rejecting the deal proposal, Pratap said in the email that he, as director of the company, was not consulted about this rejection of the offer, as a result, I do not know if this decision was made by Manish in his as director, as an executive director or as a common shareholder, and reserves the right to seek legal recourse for the same.
The platform offered a 16-week meta – MAB program designed to enhance the employability of its students and provide an affordable university-like space in the metaverse.