Former Twitter India head quits his latest metaverse edtech venture

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Former Twitter India head quits his latest metaverse edtech venture
Manish Maheshwari, former Twitter India head and co-founder of Invact MetaversityBCCL
  • Invact Metaversity is a higher education edtech company set up in the metaverse.
  • It has raised $5 million in February 2022 from 70 top global leaders, including Future Group’s Kishore Biyani.
  • CEO Maheshwari previously acknowledged that both the founders had differences over the vision of the company.
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Manish Maheshwari — former Twitter India head — has resigned from his latest venture Invact Metaversity, a higher education edtech company set up in the metaverse. He announced the news of his exit from this venture on Twitter on Friday evening, days after the feud broke out in the open.

Tanay Pratap, the co-founder and chief technology officer, will be the new chief executive officer (CEO) of Invact Metaversity.

Maheshwari founded Invact Metaversity along with former Microsoft executive Pratap in December 2021. The company has raised $5 million in February 2022 from 70 top global leaders and founders, including Future Group’s Kishore Biyani, and Infosys’ former executive Mohandas Pai.
Former Twitter India head quits his latest metaverse edtech venture
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The six-months-old company has been undergoing a lot of internal issues for quite some time. Earlier this week, Maheshwari announced that he is considering winding down Invact Metaversity due to several reasons. He also acknowledged the differences he had with the co-founder Pratap over the vision of the company.

“We are now standing at [a] crossroads exploring possibilities such as (a) cutting the burn rate and pivoting to another idea, (b) letting one of the founders take full charge, or (c) returning the unspent capital to investors,” Maheshwari noted in a series of tweets.

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The ongoing troubles took a dramatic turn when one of the angel investors Gergely Orosz, a software engineer and an author, accused Maheshwari of lying and bullying. Orosz, in an email to investors, noted that Maheshwari had earlier said he would leave the company but has now gone back on his words. He also accused Maheshwari of wanting ‘more equity than vested’.

“Manish has been bullying Tanay [Pratap, co-founder and CTO of Invact] into silence, threatening to use the company funds of $1.7 million – including our angel investment money – to sue him, should Tanay speak ill of him in public. This broke the straw with me, as that includes my money: which I never invested to be used as an instrument of a co-founder bullying the other one,” Orosz said in the email accessed by Business Insider.

Read More: Invact Metaversity saga takes a dramatic turn after angel investor blames former Twitter India head of bullying, lying — read the full email

Invact Metaversity wanted to launch classes in the metaverse for students planning to get higher education. It planned to offer its first metaverse education experience with a special four-month-long business foundation MBA course for 60 students.

The company launched its first cohort a few days back, but decided to return any fee paid by the student when the troubles started brewing. As per the plan, students would have the option to attend the classes through their desktops and mobiles or have the real experience with the help of virtual reality (VR) headsets.

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Read More: INTERVIEW: Former Twitter and Microsoft execs building a classroom on the metaverse explain what it would look and feel like
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