Lightspeed Venture Partners-backed edtech platform Teachmint, which was last valued at $500 million, earned $100,000 (about Rs 80 lakhs) in operating revenue in FY22 (2021-22), in another instance of an edtech startup sitting on an inflated valuation, a trend that was common in 2021 but may not last going forward.
Teachmint, a classroom management platform, earns revenue from selling education software solutions through subscriptions, according to the company’s regulatory filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). The operating revenue of Rs 77.45 lakhs, gives it a trailing twelve-month revenue multiple of 5,164, the highest among edtech soonicorns or soon-to-be unicorns. Moneycontrol had reported how a majority of India’s unicorns are sitting on lofty valuations, thanks to the unprecedented funding frenzy of 2021.
FY22 was the first full year of operations for Teachmint, and the company raised over $110 million (close to Rs 800 crore) during the period. Naturally, it earned revenue from interest on fixed deposits and Interest on income tax refunds of Rs 12.7 crore.
Teachmint, which counts Better Capital, Rocketship VC and Learn Capital among others on its platforms, reported a loss of Rs 131.7 crore for FY22 against Rs 5.5 crore in the previous year as its total expenses grew to Rs 145 crore for the year ended March 2022 from Rs 5.9 crore a year earlier. The company spent Rs 73 crore on employees, while 36.7 crore on advertising and marketing, which were among its biggest expenditures.
Teachmint did not earn any operating revenue in FY21 (2020-21). The platform, founded by Mihir Gupta, Anshuman Kumar, Divyanshu Bordia, and Payoj Jain, was launched in May 2020, during the peak pandemic, when edtech was one of the most sought after sectors, thanks to covid-induced stay-at-home restrictions. The company raised close to $120 million in the two pandemic years, with its largest round of $78 million happening in October 2021 giving Teachmint a valuation of $500 million.
Teachmint also acquired four companies to expand rapidly. Between December 2021 and January 2022, Teachmint acquired four companies including MyClassCampus, Teachmore, Teachee's India team and Airlearn to expand and diversify rapidly at undisclosed deal amounts.
In November 2021, the Lightspeed-backed edtech startup rolled out a unique employee stock option plan (ESOP) to retain people as the job market for startups was hot back then. The ESOP plan, which the company named as ‘Continuous Liquidity Plan’ gave employees an option to sell their stock options whenever they wanted as long as their shares were vested, rather than when the company raises money, when investors decide to buy back or when the founders decide- as is generally the norm.
However, in December last year, the company laid off about 45 employees or 5 percent of its staff “to build long-term efficiencies and address redundancies.”