Bengaluru, February 22

Edtech platform Lido Learning has downsized its team to 300 employees, as compared to its 1,000-member team in March 2021, according to sources. This move comes on the heels of rising concerns of pending payments from both customers and employees, even as there is speculation that the company might be acquired shortly.

According to a source aware of the development, who spoke to BusinessLine on condition of anonymity, Lido Learning has finalised an acquisition deal and employee layoffs have been done as a part of that process. The drop in the number of employees also includes the people who have themselves resigned from the company.

“The company’s financial troubles started during the pandemic, when the company’s revenue went down two-folds. The company’s fundraising talks with Chinese investors also did not finalise because of India changing its FDI rules in 2021. Lido Learning was planning to raise about $80 –$90 million in this round,” the source added.

  Further, the source also noted that Lido Learning has defaulted on many customer refunds, leading to over 54 police complaints against the edtech platform across Delhi, Bengaluru and Haryana. A customer of Lido Learning, AK Sinha told BusinessLine that he had enrolled his 4-year-old child Shivaay Sinha for one of the courses offered by the edtech firm, on the condition that he would get a refund if the course was not up to his liking.

However, when he asked the company to initiate the refund of the ₹31,000 fee, the company kept assuring him of a refund in a 45-day period but the money never came back. Instead on February 5, Sinha was charged the first EMI on the course fee and Lido Learning has stopped taking calls from his registered number. Sinha is an Electrical Installation Engineer from Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand.

BusinessLine’s detailed queries to Lido Learning on this and other matters did not elicit a response till the time of publication.

Multiple employees of Lido Learning have also taken to social media to say that they have not been paid salaries and some have not received their FnF (full and final) settlement, even after the completion of 90 days. “How have you made a team of people, who do not even support or help their employees. This is very shameful. I have all the mails and details written where you have clearly mentioned that I will get my salary, but now you are not replying at all,” Juhiee Arora wrote on a Linkedin post, who worked as a Talent Acquisition Specialist at Lido Learning for nine months. 

Vinay Singh, another employee of Lido Learning said in a reply to Arora’s post, “LIDO is totally a fraud. I also didn’t receive my FNF Settlement amount and three-month PF (provident fund) amount. Now, I am not getting responses for my email.”

A Supreme Court lawyer, Nitish Banka has written in a Linkedin post that he has been informed that the employees and teachers of Lido Learning are not getting paid due to the startup facing funding issues. “Teachers who have persuaded students are now denied their pay and are now constrained to take up further classes because they are not getting paid along with employees. Leaving students and teachers who are stranded and are clueless. I want the startup to treat all their employees, students and teachers fairly or face legal action.” he added. 

Founded in 2019, Lido Learning offers online classes in Maths, Science, Coding and English, for students from KG to Grade 12. The company has raised $24 million in total funding across multiple funding rounds. Some oinvestors of Lido Learning include Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures, BAce Capital and Picus Capital among others. In September 2019, Lido Learning founder Sahil Sheth was also accused of allegedly stealing 1,180 confidential files from another edtech company Zico Learning. However, Sheth had then called it a ‘false and fabricated’ case being used for extortion.