Cuemath Implements Layoffs & Restructuring Amid Edtech Landscape Shift

Cuemath's layoffs reflect a broader trend within the edtech sector, where numerous companies are reducing their workforce due to challenging market conditions.

Sonu Vivek
08 May 2023
Cuemath Implements Layoffs & Restructuring Amid Edtech Landscape Shift

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Cuemath, a prominent online math tutoring platform based in Bengaluru, India, has made significant organizational changes, including a layoff of 100 employees, representing around 12.5% of its workforce. Additionally, the company's founder, Manan Khurma, has returned as the full-time CEO, aiming to restructure operations and refocus on core business strategies. Cuemath's decision comes amidst a wave of layoffs within India's startup ecosystem, particularly in the edtech sector, where companies are facing challenges due to the transition from online to offline education.

Cuemath's Restructuring and Leadership Changes

To prioritize enhancing the learning and consumer experience, Manan Khurma has assumed the role of CEO, taking charge of the company's day-to-day operations. Vivek Sunder, the previous CEO, will transition into an advisory role, providing guidance in areas such as acquisition funnels and go-to-market strategies. As part of the restructuring, Cuemath will also rationalize certain functions and roles. While this transformation impacts talented individuals who have significantly contributed to Cuemath, the company is committed to supporting them during the transition to their next professional endeavors.

"Over the last 9+ years, Cuemath has helped 200,000+ kids in 70+ countries across the world become better at math and continues to grow as one of the world's leading math learning platforms. At the same time, the edtech ecosystem is seeing an inflection point - conservative capital markets, rapidly changing technology & AI ecosystems, and so on. The path forward for education companies - including Cuemath - needs to be completely anchored in creating learning outcomes for the end stakeholder - the student. In this context, we are making some changes at Cuemath. Given the need to deeply focus on building a great learning and consumer experience (LCX), I will get back into the role of running the company day-to-day as CEO. Our current CEO, Vivek Sunder - a phenomenal hyper-scale business operator - will transition from his full-time role to continue to work with me and the team, in an advisory capacity, on his many areas of expertise - like acquisition funnels and GTM strategies.

In addition, some functions and roles will also be rationalized, to reflect our increased focus on LCX and retention. While this will impact some talented people who have contributed a lot to Cuemath, we are committed to supporting our affected colleagues with everything they need to ensure a smooth transition into the next phase of their professional journey. And we are incredibly grateful to them for being part of the math mission thus far.

Finally, from the company's perspective, we continue to have a huge opportunity ahead of us - solving the world's math learning problem. And to make a dent in this once-in-a-generation problem, we will continue to invest thoughtfully and hire strategically," posted Manan Khurma

Cuemath's Background and Expansion

Founded by Manan Khurma in 2013, Cuemath offers technology-driven after-school math learning programs for children across more than 70 countries. The company has garnered substantial attention and secured a funding round in June of last year, led by Alpha Wave and raising $57 million. This funding round doubled Cuemath's valuation to $407 million and involved participation from notable existing investors such as Lightrock India, Sequoia Capital India, CapitalG (an independent growth fund under Alphabet), Manta Ray, and Unitus. The financial year ending in March 2022 saw Cuemath's revenue grow by approximately 63% year-on-year to reach Rs 148 crore. However, the same period witnessed an increase in losses by nearly 65%, from Rs 131 crore to Rs 217 crore.

Challenges in the Edtech Industry

Cuemath's layoffs reflect a broader trend within the edtech sector, where numerous companies are reducing their workforce due to challenging market conditions. The shift in education from online to offline, especially in the business-to-customer (B2C) segment, poses significant obstacles for startups. Edtech companies are grappling with the need to adapt their offerings to cater to the changing landscape and meet the evolving demands of students and parents.

Cuemath is not alone in facing these challenges. Unacademy, one of India's leading edtech platforms, also underwent a round of layoffs, resulting in a reduction of approximately 12% of its workforce. The company's total employee count now stands at under 3,000. Another edtech startup, Teachmint, backed by Vulcan Capital, recently laid off around 70 employees. These instances highlight the broader industry-wide impact of shifting educational dynamics and the subsequent adjustments required to align with the evolving needs of students and the education system.

Cuemath's decision to lay off employees and implement organizational restructuring reflects the dynamic nature of the edtech industry. The company aims to enhance its learning and consumer experience, making changes to adapt to the shifting demands of the education landscape.