Invact Metaversity Saga: Angel investor Gergely Orosz writes to shareholders about CEO Manish Maheshwari;  read the full text

Invact Metaversity Saga: Angel investor Gergely Orosz writes to shareholders about CEO Manish Maheshwari; read the full text


One of the first angel investors in troubled ed-tech company Invact Metaversity, Gergely Orosz, has publicly expressed concern about the ongoing conflict between co-founders Manish Maheshwari and Tanay Pratap.

In an email to Orosz’s investors, he said Maheshwari wanted “more equity than invested.” Maheshwari, the former head of Twitter for India, previously said he would leave the startup, but returned to his words, says Orosz.

Pratap was also marked on the email.

The two founders of Invact Metaversity, which began operations in October last year, had differing views on the vision and implementation of the startup and presented these issues to their investors last month. Orosz had previously tweeted on Twitter that Maheshwari was holding the company hostage.

Here is the full text of Orosz’s email:

Fellow angel investors in Invact Metaversity,

I am writing to share the sad situation and the ongoing struggle with Manish Maheshwari, Cova Founder and CEO of Invact.

In that context, I am an angel investor in the company and someone who has known its co-founder Tanay for some time. I have invested in the company because of Tanay’s track record in building products, teaching hundreds of students and his high level of integrity. Some more details about me.

After receiving an e-mail from Tanay entitled “IMPORTANT: Disclosure of the Current Status of Invact Inc. For Angel Investors of Invact Inc.” on Sunday, May 22, I started worrying about the company and my investment. I took part in a conversation with both co-founders.

Tanay responded immediately and outlined the situation. Manish did not provide any details, no updates. He updated his LinkedIn and Twitter and shared the story of the product’s failure – which I confirmed to be untrue – before the angels sent us the same text.

I talked to the staff and Tanay and learned some worrying things:

Manish lied to his team. On April 29, he asked the team at Invact what the company’s next steps should be. The team suggested he leave, Tanay taking the lead. Manish agreed to do it. However, he later returned his consent. He told the team that his policies did not allow him to resign.

Manish is bullying Tanay was silent, threatening to use the company’s $ 1.7 million in funds – including our angel investment money – to sue if Tanay spoke badly of him in public. That broke the straw with me because it involves my money: which I never invested to use as a co-founder’s tool to bully the other.

Manish constantly keeps up with the promises he made to the named investors, and then breaks them. The names of the investors who met the conditions he gave to accept the exit settlement so that the company could continue to operate. It then returns to these conditions. He’s been doing it for weeks. It blames his la

From what I have observed, the situation of the company is as follows:

– All employees have full confidence in Tanay to take over the company and build their product, which is impressive, given that the development took only 4 months. Manish internally praised the product and the progress of the team, as I confirmed interviews with employees. The team was shocked that Manish spoke publicly about their product as he prepared for his departure.

– No current staff trusts Manish to stay. They feel that he has been misled too many times. I spoke with most of them to confirm that this was the case.

– Appointed investors encourage Manish to leave the company on fair terms and Tanay and the team continue to implement.

– Manish is holding the company hostage. He controls the majority and refuses to sign the agreements, which he has confirmed that he will sign that he will leave. All the appointed investors and employees want him to leave on fair terms. In a special way, everyone has their hands tied until they descend.

I decided to step in to see if I could resolve the conflicts, using my public presence to get Manish to agree to the call.

Manish called me to resolve the situation he had lied to me and resigned shortly thereafter as we agreed. On this call – which I recorded, for fear of what would happen if Manish denied his words.

Manish said the only thing preventing him from accepting a takeover bid is whether he will keep his stakes. He said he wanted nothing else: no cash, nothing else.

I agreed to remove my public mention of him and to help do so, provided that he signed it. The appointed investors updated the agreement. I removed all public mention. I have kept my side of the agreement.

Manish then refused to sign and returned to everything we agreed on. He now demands more equity than he has invested, a significant amount of cash – which he told me he would never do – and a seat on the board.

Since then, I have learned that Manish uses this consent tactic and then returns to his co-founder, employees and investors.

I lose my words and I am shocked at how the former head of India’s Twitter is not keeping his promises and how he only cares about his own, personal interests. His actions hurt investors – he wants to take our cash for himself – hurts employees and hurts future customers.

We are here: negotiations between the named investors are frozen after Manish returned with an offer that said it would be good enough for him. The appointed investors are considering the interest of the company, employees, investors and have offered a package that is more than fair given the situation.

We all wait for Manish to act like a professional: he will keep his word and sign the agreement he signs.

I ask you to do at least one of the following:

Call Manish and ask him to act sensibly. Take the fair package on offer, which he personally told me several times that he was happy with it: his own shares and nothing else. He has the contract ready for signing. He has lost all the support of his employees, distorted the value of the company and deceives the appointed investors. Still, does it require more stock than it invests, cash – which the company needs – and a seat on the board to leave? Will he not ask for any of this after confirmation? One that I have proof he said.

Call Tanay and offer support. Tanay does not speak to anyone in public because he fears that Manish will sue him using our investor money and that he will be emotionally bullyed. No one should go through this, not from their co-founder. Not if this co-founder has a reputation like Manish so far.

If you need more clarity, talk to the names of the investors. Namds investors are fully behind Tanay and are also shocked by the unprofessional nature of Manish. The contact details of the appointed investors are:

Hiran Embuldeniya ,

Nitin Sharma ,

Rajiv Srivatsa ,

Rahul Chandra

I will close this with this quote:

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

I believe that I have kept you sufficiently informed of the situation – even though the CEO and the person who controls it – and is holding it hostage when we speak – have not done so.

The best,

Gergely

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