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Stoa School has hit pause button but not dead: Co-founder Kunkolienkar


Stoa School, which offers MBA boot camp program, has hit a pause button on its operations and is currently re-evaluating its future course of action, the company co-founder Raj Kunkolienkar told Entrackr.

Stoa has stopped accepting new students to its programs but Kunkolienkar emphasized that it hasn’t shut down operations.

According to a Ken report, the company has winded up its operations.

“It was a temporary pause in admissions, not operations we took back on Jan 24 as we overhaul our offerings to keep up with the changing future of work and learning. We will write in public about the new direction by early August,” said the co-founder.

As per Kunkolienkar, the company had also paused admission for a temporary period in early 2022.

As per Entrackr’s sources, Stoa also laid off a significant portion of its employees in the past six months. 

“We let go of about 25 people back in November’ 23 and continue to have a team running learning, community as well as career operations,” said Kunkolienkar.

Launched in October 2020, Stoa offers a six month part-time MBA programme with the focus on the startup ecosystem. Unlike a regular MBA degree which comes at a steep cost, Stoa charges around Rs 2.5 lakh. Its curriculum covers various topics such as strategy & models, general management, brand, economics, and analytical thinking.

During the six months of the program, students spend most of their time learning online through weekly sprints. On clearing the mid and the end-term exam and completing the careers checklist, they get access to placement support.

For the fiscal year ended in March 2023 (FY23), Stoa registered more than two-fold jump in its operating revenue to Rs 15.92 crore from Rs 6.13 crore in FY22. During the period, its losses reduced to Rs 43 lakh from Rs 78 lakh in the previous year.

Stoa raised seed funding from the likes of Nithin Kamath, Kunal Shah, Gagan Biyani and AngelList in November 2021. The company has not raised any capital since then. As per startup data intelligence platform TheKredible, Kulkarni holds 51.45% stake in the company while Kunkolienkar has 15.37% stake. It has an ESOP pool of 11%.

Stoa’s competitors include Upraised, Invact Metaversity, Masters’ Union, and Mesa School of Business. Almost all of them had raised funds soon after their launch.

Invact Metaversity, launched by former Twitter head Manish Maheshwari, scooped up $5 million in its maiden fundraise while Mesa School of Business raised nearly $4 million in April last year. Upraised also raised its seed round in August last year. Last year, Entrackr exclusively reported that Masters’ Union was in talks to raise a new round.

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