Kitchener-Waterloo edtech startup ApplyBoard quietly made a leadership change last summer, with founding CEO Martin Basiri replaced by his brother, Meti Basiri.
The company announced the move this week, confirming that Meti Basiri took on the role of CEO in August. Martin Basiri continues to be a member of ApplyBoard’s board of directors.
ApplyBoard was founded in 2015 by the three Basiri brothers: Martin Basiri, Meti Basiri and Massi Basiri. Since its launch, Martin Basiri had served as CEO with his brothers holding the roles of CMO and COO, respectively.
“The co-founders’ role changes have been shifted to reflect the current operations of ApplyBoard.”
As part of the executive switch-up, Massi Basiri was also named president of ApplyBoard.
A spokesperson for the company told BetaKit, “the co-founders’ role changes have been shifted to reflect the current operations of ApplyBoard and the overall mission moving forward.” They added that Martin Basiri has been on parental leave since the fall.
While ApplyBoard announced the move internally in August, Martin Basiri was outwardly presented as company CEO, including at public events like Elevate, until the news was announced this week. The spokesperson told BetaKit that ApplyBoard undertook a transitional stage between making the announcement and Martin Basiri going on leave.
“These role changes aim to reflect the work we can and will be doing to grow and thrive in the decades to come,” the company wrote in a blog post about the executive changes, adding, “ApplyBoard continues to grow at an exceptional rate, helping roughly more students to start their study abroad journeys in 2022 than we did in the previous six years combined.”
At the same time, ApplyBoard has not been immune to the economic crunch being felt by tech companies across the board. At the end of November, ApplyBoard announced that it had laid off six percent of its approximately 1,500 employees globally.
The news came just months after Martin Basiri told BetaKit that the company was in a “very good” position to navigate present market conditions. Martin Basiri added at the time that ApplyBoard was in a strong place financially, stating that with its $375 million CAD Series D round from June 2021, the startup had “over-raised” in the last three years.
To date, ApplyBoard has raised a total of $600 million CAD ($475 million USD), and as of June 2021 claimed a $4 billion CAD ($3.2 billion USD) valuation. Though, as of June 2022, ApplyBoard investor Fidelity Investments had cut the value of its stake in the company by 22.9 percent, as reported by The Globe and Mail.
Martin Basiri will remain involved with ApplyBoard, and is said to be working on a new initiative related to financial access to education. He told BetaKit in June that ApplyBoard expects to continue on a positive growth trajectory, and is expanding into more international markets.
Feature image courtesy ApplyBoard.
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