Deal Abstract

Calacanis LAUNCH approved two-sided marketplace company builds a platform for selling excess capacity at brand name universities selling executive education courses. Founders have been in HR space since 2009, then MOOC in 2015.

Coursalytics is an online marketplace for executive education that makes it easier for corporate learning officers and executives to find, compare, and book thousands of open enrollment programs globally.


Yes. (Hypothetically.)

Why Investing/Passing

  1. Raising $600k at $2.5MM valuation is very reasonably priced for a company that has doubled revenue in one year. Granted, COGS has also gone up, but a two-sided marketplace is definitely scalable once it finds its place in the market.
  2. Notable investors, partnering with Education institutions which have a defacto monopoly on brand and also distribution, means aligned incentives with incumbents.
  3. Seem like the right founders for this team, though they are unlikely to make this a unicorn within 3-5 years. That said, getting to a cashflow positive healthy business and building something defensible in the EdTech space is not a bad move at all.

The 11 Calacanis Characteristics (91 161 18)

Passed on 5/6.

1. A startup that is based in SVFail: (Philadelphia, PA & Washington, D.C. based on LinkedIn searches of the team)
2. Has at least 2 founders Pass
3. Has product in the market Pass
4. 6 months of continuous user growth or 6 months of revenue.Pass
5. Notable investors?Pass
6. Post-funding, will have 18 months of runway Pass: burn rate is $14k/mth, at $300k raise this is 23 months.

Burn for 2018 was 169k (revenues less COGS and operating expenses.) Monthly burn is therefore 14k/month. At the minimum of a $300k raise, they’d have 23 months of burn. Salaries combined are $95k, which seems extremely reasonable for now.

Courselytics Financial Summary (Hosted link.)

The 7 Thiel Questions (ETMPDDS)

  1. The Engineering question:
    • Good: so much as aggregator marketplaces are always 10x better than individual providers and their sites, yes.
  2. The Timing question
    • Good: not the best, not

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