We talked to Tony Infantino, founder of MyMentor, about online student coaching and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Tony Infantino: Fine. I got lucky and the same for my partner in crime, William!
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded MyMentor.
Tony Infantino: I started it eight years ago. Five years ago it was close to bankruptcy, so I bought back my partner shares, found William as a CTO who worked for free for 6 months, so did I for one year and we fundraised one and a half years ago.
How does MyMentor innovate?
Tony Infantino: We are in one-to-one tutoring and we guarantee the final grade of the student. If he doesn’t get it we reimburse him.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Tony Infantino: It made us move on global impact. We developed our own exams to evaluate the student because the schools closed. It allowed us to create our own programs to make the student improve faster and now we are in the process of labeling the method, working with nonprofits and we are in advanced discussion with the Ministry. It was really hard to move that fast, especially because we are only three and it is not easy to manage thousands of people.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Tony Infantino: We decided to forget about the series of fundraising and focus and profitability. In April 50% of our clients wanted to stop because we didn’t do online tutoring. Two days after, we did and finally did a 20% growth that month.
In October growth metrics didn’t reach for A series even if acquisition costs dropped drastically so the investment didn’t follow and we had a two-month run-rate. We decided to reduce the cost by 3 and had to leave 2 members of the team and we are now profitable and on a 15% monthly growth.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Tony Infantino: We actually deleted some to go on full product efficiency and we had already an intern CRM coupled with zappier and airtable only.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Tony Infantino: We have a lot, our B2C makes the company profitable and acquisition is SEO based.
Our growth comes from B2B we double our revenue every trimester since September. It is a niche 30M market and there is no competitor who is as tech-oriented as us: we have automated the full process from recruitment to choosing a teacher until following and monitoring progress.
Your final thoughts?
Tony Infantino: Crisis is the best time to know if you are a hard-time team of entrepreneurs and to know if you are a game-changer. Seeing it as an opportunity to save us.
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