EdTech Corporate Updates

Tough times at Guild, 2U, and Keypath but not at Instride

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Goodness, times are tough for EdTech and getting worse. Bear with me for some updates.

Guild Layoffs

Guild, one of the most valuable EdTech companies, is stumbling further. Last year the company laid of 12% of staff (roughly 170 employees), and now the company is laying a quarter of its remaining staff, as described by the Denver Post.

Denver-based Guild, an online worker training platform, offered a hard lesson to its employees Wednesday, telling a quarter of them they would be out of a job. [snip]

“As Guild’s business continues to grow, we must ensure that we deliver on our mission as efficiently and effectively as possible. To exceed our audacious goals, we shared with employees today that we have decided to restructure our organization. This restructuring resulted in a reduction in our workforce,” Guild’s CEO, Bijal Shah, said in a statement Wednesday.

Shah said the restructuring would allow the company to “operate more efficiently, innovate faster, and continue to deliver strong outcomes for our stakeholders.”

According to CB Insights, the company has raised $730 million in total for a market valuation of $4.4 billion. At least before the troubles over the past year or two.

What is interesting to me is the contrast with Instride, the Guild competitor that was created by ASU and private equity firm TPG’s Rise Fund. While I have not seen public information on total funding, I believe it is less than 10% of what Guild has raised.

At the Instride Conference early last week, there was a pervasive feeling of growth. The company now has 50 corporate partners and appears to be growing quickly. The conference itself was roughly double the size of last year.

I don’t intend this to be a deep analysis, but the contrast makes me wonder how much the layoffs are a Guild story, on a unicorn company that may have flown too high with investor expectations, and not so much a story about the need for workforce education benefits services.

2U Email

In early May I called out two key questions to track this year regarding 2U’s efforts to navigate its financial crisis.

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