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Ex-Twitter India head’s start-up Invact Metaversity at crossroads

Former Twitter India head’s start-up Invact Metaversity has cancelled its first batch following disagreements between the two co-founders.

The company is now considering ​​possibilities of cutting the burn rate, pivoting to another idea, or letting one founder take full charge or return the unspent capital to its investors. “As we started testing the early version of the Metaversity platform with students, it became apparent to us that the immersive classroom and the community experience were not getting delivered at a level that we had envisaged. We, therefore, cancelled the course before it began,” said Manish Maheshwari, Invact Metaversity’s co-founder.

Founded by Maheshwari (former Head of Twitter India) and Tanay Pratap (a popular educator), the company envisaged providing employability-focussed training to help the workforce realign with the digital world and secure themselves jobs in high-growth tech companies. The plan was to build the university in the metaverse in order to foster an immersive environment conducive to learning.

According to an e-mail sent by co-founder Pratap to investors, they had explored sale of the start-up earlier this month, but could not find a buyer. Pratap had also mentioned about ‘irreconcilable differences’ with Maheshwari in the e-mail.

The two co-founders had disagreed over the start-up’s objective and approach to accomplishing that vision. The edtech company added that the fees paid by students were fully refunded along with interest. Maheshwari said although the first cohort has been cancelled, the start-up made significant progress.

“I would like to say that we made significant progress in pushing the frontiers on product, technology, curriculum and user experience. But getting it right involves many more things. And getting it right in all aspects on first try is hard. We are humble enough to recognise that,” he mentioned in a Twitter thread.

In February 2022, the start-up had raised $5 million at a valuation of $33 million from global investment firms such as Arkam Ventures, Antler India, Picus Capital, M Venture Partners, BECO Capital and 2am VC, along with over 70 notable individual investors. The Hindu BusinessLine

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