Has Ed-tech startup Lido Learning collapsed?

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After a month of missteps, parents and former employees of Lido Learning are losing faith. Burn-till-you-raise, brand malpractice, corporate leadership oversight. Has the edtech startup’s business collapsed?

Sahil Seth (the Founder of Lido Learning) held a virtual meeting with employees, where he mentioned the 3 years of his ed-tech startup's hard work and accomplishments coming to an end because of lack of funds.

Company asked their employees to "consider today the last working day," and requested 90 days to settle dues out, including unpaid salaries for January.

"The last 7 days have changed my perception about startup and founder's mentality", said Yatin Malik's LinkedIn post, who signed up his 7-year-old son with Lido Learning a week before its collapse. He tried to reach out to LIDO’s CEO Sahil Sheth, ASA, CFA but got no response.

For the two-year course, which costs Rs 54,000 for 280 classes, the bank has deducted two EMIs of Rs 4,500 and Malik expects this to continue for another year without any hope of a refund following the startup's closure. "It's my hard-earned money. Not even in my worst nightmare did I expect to end up in this situation," he said.

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* sadly the above post was deleted at the time of publishing this article

Every single mother and parent admitted their children in the course with hope for a better future. Ex Employees' are telling that it may take a few weeks, but every person can get a refund processed in their account immediately.

"Finally, after a long wait, Lido has started processing the refund", announced Yatin Malik through LinkdeIn's post. This may lead to a positive and faithful impact on thousands of parents on their pending refunds processed.

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Anupam Mittal (Shaadi.com CEO and one of the investors of Lido learning), addressed on social media, "I am simply an investor here and have no influence on company operations. On a serious note, I am told by the founder that they will soon start processing refunds.

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There are various companies including Growth School, byjus who are giving an opportunity to Lido's employees in different hiring positions. Vaibhav Sisinty, Founder of Growth School says "Heard the sad news of LIDO shutting its operations down. Building a company is one of the toughest things to do, And I would like to extend my support to the founders and team for getting so far. Also wanted to welcome employees of lido to come to apply for GrowthSchool ".

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Was Lido Learning's operation shut down?

Lido Learning, India’s much-hyped Mumbai-based ed-tech startup, has raised $3 million in Series A funding from investors including upGrad Chairman Ronnie Screwvala and Shaadi.com CEO Anupam Mittal. LIDO delivers students coaching classes through an integrated online platform that combines content with tutors from all across the nation. The Lido Learning startup was founded by former BYJU'S VP Sahil Sheth.

Employees, tutors, and parents were horrified to witness that Lido Learning shut down due to a lack of funding, especially given the fact that it was only six months since Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures-led funding round had taken place. This meant that the startup had been through a lot of rounds of funding even though the first one in mid-2019 led by Unilver still amounted to $10 million. As if this wasn’t enough, Lido Learning had received many other investments after its first-round totaling up to $30 million.

Over the past three funding rounds, the startup had managed to gather notable investments from prominent investors — Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Cult.Fit’s Mukesh Bansal, Shaadi.com’s Anupam Mittal, and Mensa Brands’ Ananth Narayanan. That aside, it also managed to secure angel investment led by Alibaba-backed BACE Ventures, Picus Capital, and 9Unicorns as well.

At the time of the fundraising, the company said it is targeting a $100 million run-rate by the end of FY23. It had informed agendas to launch operations in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and SouthEast Asia in early 2022. In addition, it is already being present in the US and Middle-East, and Canada.

Ex-employee, who wishes not to be named, claimed that Sheth had mentioned that one of the investors had backed out after committing an investment. A tech team member further claimed that though they had halted their operations after the town hall, however, the company resumed back its operations within two days. He further added that the startup is in talks for bigger funding or a possible merger.

According to Mint, Ronnie Screwvala — the most recent investor in Lido Learning — made the statement that he was shocked to find out about Lido Learning’s collapse.

How were Lido's ex-employees ' experiences in their workplace

Ex Employees' shared their past experiences, Lido's work culture had great leadership qualities, everyone had so much fun, every week good performers record, a surprise treat, and so on. The presence of a positive and fun workplace environment gave a huge impact on how well employees can perform on Lido learning. But in the last 2 months more than a hundred employees, mostly from its Bengaluru and Noida offices, are learned to have been fired by the company. Employees have been ranting about their fnfs all over social media and it’s not a peaceful atmosphere, we hope everyone gets their dues paid off as soon as possible.

What is the future?

It’s been a month since Sahil Sheth announced the closure of Lido Learning. It now seems that it won’t be just Lido Learning’s investors who will have to write off their investment, even parents, employees, vendors, and tutors may have to live with the reality that their refund is not processing.

Lately, rumors are alive that Lido’s back in action, we hope there is a substance in these claims and things get back to normal. However, it’s sad to see the mishandling and mis-management exhibited by Lido Learning’s management and equally saddening to watch people be it ex-employees, customers, and public-in-general leaving no stone unturned to tarnish the company’s image.

About Sonalika Singh

Sonalika is a budding writer although her love for writing dates back to her school days. Her childhood dream of becoming an anchor guided her career in the direction of mass communication and journalism. Presently, she is indulged in creating content for sincere students who are planning to study for higher education.

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