BENGALURU: Just five months after raising $10 million (close to Rs 73 crore) from Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures, edtech start-up Lido Learning is facing severe financial constraints. Various sources confirmed that the start-up, which is struggling with its day-to-day operations, will be acquired by another edtech company within a week.
The start-up’s employee strength is around 1,000, and it has laid off 150-200 employees. A source close to the company said, “These employees were underperforming and were also not regular to the office.” However, the employees’ version is entirely different. A couple of employees TNIE spoke to on condition of anonymity alleged that a toxic work culture prevails in Lido Learning. Many employees also took to social media and said that they have not been paid salaries.
“Edtech start-ups are demanding and we had a tough time working at Lido,” said one of the former employees of the start-up. Soon after raising $10 million, Lido is also said to have spent the money in massive hiring, and also for various promotional activities. It also paid employees more and funds dried up faster leading to financial constraints.
Apart from this, Lido Learning has defaulted on many refunds. Started in 2019 by Sahil Sheth, who worked previously with BYJU’s, Lido operates in the small-group and online tuitions space. It offers 70 classes to 250 classes and the fees start from Rs 25,000 after discount. There are even 420 classes starting from Rs 90,000.
“Since teachers are not paid, classes are not being conducted regularly. Also, if a student refers to another student, he/she will receive a Rs 10,000 voucher,” said one of the employees. According to India Brand Equity Foundation, the edtech market in India is expected to touch $4 billion by 2025 from USD 750 million in 2020.