So far, 23,195 employees have been laid off by 82 startups, including unicorns BYJU’S, Chargebee, Cars24, LEAD, Ola, OYO, Meesho, MPL, LivSpace Innovaccer, Udaan, Unacademy and Vedantu
19 edtech startups, including four of the seven edtech unicorns, laid off 8,460+ employees
As the funding winter intensifies, here are the startups that have issued pink slips since the start of 2022
The year 2023 has started, however, the startup ecosystem does not seem to have found any respite as the funding winter continues to sustain throughout the chilly winters, driven on by adverse macroeconomic headwinds prevailing globally.
After the public equity markets fell in early 2022, pressured by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, governments around the world deployed anti-recession measures. These measures involved increasing the interest rates, making debt expensive and consequently draining both public and private equity markets of liquidity.
Funding in Indian startups has constantly declined since the start of 2022. According to Inc42 data, Indian startups raised $25 Bn in 2022, down 40% compared with the watershed moment that was 2021.
The start of 2023 did not fare any better. According to Inc42 data, Indian startups raised $1.63 Bn during the first two months of 2023, down 81% compared to $8.4 Bn during the same time last year.
After 2021’s unprecedented, FOMO-driven funding, Indian startup valuations are at an all-time high, which has further seen marquee investors tighten their purse strings. As a result, Indian startups are under pressure, with many of them having high cash burn and low prospects of profitability.
The slowdown prompted marquee investors such as Sequoia, KKR and Y Combinator to instruct portfolio startups on how to survive. There was a clear message communicated to startups by all investors: cut costs and increase the runway.
So far, 23,195 employees have been laid off by 82 startups, including unicorns BYJU’S, Chargebee, Cars24, LEAD, Ola, OYO, Meesho, MPL, LivSpace Innovaccer, Udaan, Unacademy and Vedantu. Edtech has seen the most layoffs, followed by consumer services and ecommerce.
The three sectors have collectively seen 45 startups laying off 17,992 employees so far. In particular, edtech has come under intense scrutiny across the country. Not only have 19 edtech startups, including four of the seven edtech unicorns, laid off 8,460+ employees, but the sector has also seen five startups shut down in 2022.
The new year has already seen layoffs by 34 startups, impacting as many as 4,746 employees. For context, the year 2022 saw around 55 startups laying off employees.
As the startup ecosystem endures a funding winter and the subsequent slowdown, Inc42 has compiled the list of startup layoffs that have taken place so far.
If you would like to report a layoff, pay cut etc. at a startup, write to us at [email protected]
Indian Startup Layoffs
March 15 | Inc42 Exclusive: Home Decor Unicorn LivSpace Fires 100 Employees Citing Restructuring
Home renovation and interiors platform Livspace fired 100 employees, or 2% of its workforce, as part of a cost-cutting exercise, sources told Inc42. Product, engineering, content, and marketing teams were the most impacted by the layoffs, a source added.
“Our focus continues to be on the most efficient deployment of capital and resources to maximize value for our shareholders, customers, partners and employees,” the company said in a statement, adding, “in a company of our size, we will, in the normal course of our operations, redeploy resources. This is organic and a reflection of normal adjustments and/or performance management parameters.”
Without sharing details, LivSpace said it is extending an assistance package and healthcare coverage to the impacted employees. The startup has raised close to $430 Mn across funding rounds, entering the unicorn club in February 2022.
March 15 | Inc42 Exclusive: Retailtech Startup Dukaan Fires 30% Workforce Citing Restructuring
Retail tech startup Dukaan laid off around 56 employees, or around 30% of its workforce, sources told Inc42. The layoffs, due to a change in Dukaan’s focus to D2C brands from SMBs, affected inside sales team and account managers.
Dukaan offered a two-month salary as a severance package to the impacted employees. Suumit Shah, Dukaan’s founder and CEO, confirmed the development to Inc42.
Dukaan last raised $12.4 Mn in its pre-Series A round, led by 640 Oxford Ventures, in September 2021. In all, the retailtech startup has raised more than $18 Mn in funding across its seed and Pre-Series A round.
March 6 | upGrad Campus Lays Off 30% Workforce Amid Prolonged Funding Winter
Video learning platform upGrad Campus fired 30% of its total workforce, accounting for nearly 120 employees, Indian Express reported. It was unclear if the layoffs were targeted at a specific department within the startup.
Impartus, as upGrad Campus was known prior to its acquisition in March 2021, operates independently as an upGrad subsidiary. The layoffs at upGrad Campus are the second one at a subsidiary of the Ronnie Screwvala-led edtech unicorn.
In January, Harappa Education, which was acquired by upGrad in July 2022 for $38 Mn, fired 40% of the workforce or about 73 employees.
March 2 | Inc42 Exclusive: Fitness Startup Fittr Fires 11% Workforce Citing Role Redundancy
Pune-based fitness startup Fittr laid off 11% of its workforce, or around 30 employees, across marketing, sales, client servicing and tech teams, sources told Inc42. The sources added that the company may have fired as many as 60 employees, though the claim remained unconfirmed.
In a statement given to Inc42, the cofounder and CEO of Fittr, Jitendra Chouksey, said the company had to let go of people due to role redundancy (11% of the total workforce in a span of 6-8 months). “Meanwhile, we did hire to backfill certain critical positions,” Chouksey added.
According to Fittr’s MCA filings, it slipped into losses in FY22. The startup registered a loss of INR 25.2 Cr in FY22 against a profit of INR 49.04 Lakh in FY21, even though its revenue from operations rose to INR 83.05 Cr in FY22 from INR 52.7 Cr in FY21.
March 1 | Conversational AI Startup Yellow.ai Lays Off 15% Employees Amid Funding Winter
Conversational AI startup Yellow.ai has fired 15% of its employees since August, on account of slow growth and a bloated workforce. According to media reports, the SaaS startup has carried out two layoffs between August 2022 and February 2023.
The startup has 1,063 employees, according to its LinkedIn profile. Confirming the development to Inc42, a Yellow.ai spokesperson said, “We had to reorganise some of the teams to double down on high-priority, high-growth areas, which in turn has affected 15% of the company.” The spokesperson added that the company is supporting the outgoing employees, without sharing details of any severance packages.
The layoffs come just months after Yellow.ai announced a $43 Mn ESOP plan for its employees. The startup has raised more than $102 Mn across funding rounds so far, with the latest round coming in August 2021 when Yellow.ai raised $78.15 Mn from the likes of WestBridge Capital, Sapphire Ventures and Salesforce Ventures.
February 22 | Edtech Startup Camp K12 Fires 70% Employees
Edtech startup Camp K12 reportedly fired 70% of its workforce without paying any dues to the impacted employees. While Inc42 could not reach Camp K12, media reports suggest that it might have laid off as many as 300 employees, of the 433 it had, according to its LinkedIn account.
According to media reports, the coding edtech startup has not paid salaries to its employees since December 2022; the layoffs took place in January 2023. The company has allegedly not paid any salaries to the impacted employees and it is not letting the remaining employees resign either.
Another edtech startup on the verge of capitulation, Camp K12 has raised $16 Mn in funding across two rounds, with the startup last raising $12 Mn in August 2021.
February 21 | Crypto Startup Polygon Fires 20% Staff As Crypto Winter Extends
Ethereum Layer-2 scaling startup Polygon laid off around 20% of its workforce, or 100 employees, as part of a restructuring exercise amid the ongoing crypto winter. The startup has fired employees across multiple business functions.
“Earlier this year, we consolidated multiple business units under Polygon Labs. As part of this process, we’re sharing the difficult news that we’ve reduced our team by 20% impacting multiple teams and about 100 positions,” the startup said in a blog post.
Polygon said that the employees impacted will receive a three months’ pay as severance, regardless of their level or tenure. The layoffs come a year after Polygon raised $450 Mn in a funding round, led by Sequoia India
February 20 | Security Management Startup MyGate Fires 30% Staff Amid Funding Crunch
Community and security management startup MyGate has reportedly laid off 30% of its employees across mid-management and junior roles. The startup’s total headcount was reduced from 600 pre-layoffs to 400.
Only a few laid off employees were offered a salary of two months as a severance package, while others did not receive severance at all, according to media reports.
Founded in 2016, MyGate offers security solutions for apartment complexes at entry and exit gates, along with other security systems such as RFID cards, biometrics and vehicle stickers. It has raised $79.5 Mn in VC funding to date.
February 14 | Inc42 Exclusive: Healthtech Platform Phablecare Faces Capitulation, Fires 350 Employees
In another startup capitulation story amid the harsh funding winter, healthtech platform Phablecare has fired 350 employees, nearly 50% of its workforce. The startup is currently facing a funding crisis and has held back the salaries of employees.
While sources told Inc42 that Phablecare has laid off around 350-400 employees so far, hundreds voluntarily resigned due to the delays in getting their salaries. The founders are yet to revert to a detailed questionnaire sent by Inc42.
In the meanwhile, the founders communicated to the staff as late as January that they were trying to raise funds. Phablecare’s situation is still developing as its day-to-day operations have taken a beating.
February 14 | Prime Venture-Backed HackerEarth Fires 9% Employees, Introduce Pay Cuts
Tech-focused skilling and hiring startup HackerEarth laid off nearly 9% of its employees working in different verticals, according to media reports. The number of employees impacted was around 17 of a total headcount of 190.
Sachin Gupta, CEO of HackerEarth, said, “2020 and 2021 were years of strong growth for us. We built a team in anticipation of this trend continuing. Instead, the second half of 2022 saw a slowdown in hiring, which resulted in lower growth in our business than what we had prepared ourselves for.”
HackerEarth has provided a severance package including eight weeks of pay to impacted employees. While employees with more than two years of stint in the company have been given one additional week of pay for every year of their service.
February 6 | FilterCopy Parent Pocket Aces Fires 25% Staff To Cut Costs
Digital entertainment startup Pocket Aces, which owns YouTube channels such as FilterCopy and Dice Media, fired a quarter of its workforce, or about 25 employees. The job cuts impacted employees in content, production and post-production teams.
Aditi Shrivastava, cofounder and CEO of Pocket Aces, told Inc42, “It has been a tough decision to part with some of our talented team members and friends. However, we must keep innovating our operating models, and this is the right thing to do in order to ensure that we remain agile with the changing audience preferences. We deeply care about the people leaving us and will provide them with financial support, and ongoing health insurance coverage and help them with their transition.”
The company further added that it would keep engaging with some of the outgoing employees on a freelance basis.
February 3 | Inc42 Exclusive: SaaS Logistics Startup FarEye Fires 90 Employees In Layoffs Round Two
Microsoft-backed SaaS logistics startup FarEye laid off 90 employees in a second round of layoffs in just eight months. The startup has fired 340 employees or around 45% of its workforce before the first layoffs. The job cuts impacted people across tech, product, HRBP and sales, sources told Inc42.
Confirming the layoffs, FarEye cofounder and CEO Kushal Nahata told Inc42 in a statement, “The reduction in staff was necessary to align business strategy with market demand and continue to serve our customers’ business needs, as has always been our mission. Our focus on product innovation and customer solutions remains strong, and we will continue to expand our reach in new industries and markets around the globe.”
While the startup did not go into the specifics, it said it has offered severance packages to the impacted employees as per the local laws.
January 27 | Ecommerce Unicorn DealShare Fires 100 Employees To Cut Costs
Tiger Global-backed grocery delivery unicorn DealShare fired 100 employees or about 7% of its 1,500-strong workforce in a bid to reduce monthly burn rate. The move impacted employees across all teams, according to the unicorn’s founder Sourjyendu Medda.
“We have removed the roles as a result of the current market conditions. We look at the business plan for the year and we have reduced the focus on some of the areas which would need very long-term capital infusion before becoming totally profitable,” said Medda, confirming the development to Inc42.
The grocery delivery unicorn did not specify the details of the severance benefits the outgoing employees would be entitled to.
January 25 | Inc42 Exclusive: SaaS Startup SirionLabs Fires 130 Employees Days After Raising $25 Mn
Sequoia and Tiger Global-backed SaaS startup SirionLabs fired around 15% of its total workforce, or about 130 employees, days after announcing a Series D fundraise of $25 Mn, Inc42 exclusively reported. Employees in DevOps, analysts, and support teams were impacted by the layoffs.
In a mail sent to the employees, Ajay Agrawal, the founder and CEO of the contract management startup, informed the employees about the decision. Inc42 has reviewed the mail sent to the employees by Agrawal. In the mail, Agrawal said that the startup has to shift its business strategy towards profitability due to the current macroeconomic environment, and this will result in downsizing.
SirionLabs offered a salary of two months as a severance package to the impacted employees.
January 24 | Inc42 Exclusive: Healthtech Unicorn Innovaccer Goes For Second Layoff Round, Fires 245 Employees
Tiger Global-backed healthtech unicorn Innovaccer fired around 15% of its workforce, or 245 employees, in the second round of sackings at the unicorn within four months. The layoffs impacted teams in India and the US across multiple departments, Inc42 exclusively reported.
Confirming the development with Inc42, the unicorn’s cofounder and CEO Abhinav Shashank cited an ‘uncertain macroeconomic environment’ as the reason for the second round of layoffs. The cofounder said that Innovaccer will deprioritise certain areas that distract the unicorn from its “core portfolio”.
The startup will offer severance packages to the impacted employees along with transitional health insurance benefits, and job placement support, an Innovaccer spokesperson told Inc42. The round of layoffs also comes after the unicorn fired 90 employees in September 2022.
January 23 | India’s First Unicorn InMobi Fires 50-70 Employees After Performance Review
InMobi, India’s first-ever unicorn, fired around 50-70 employees or about 3% of its workforce after it concluded a performance review, Business Standard reported. The impacted employees are both from InMobi and its mobile advertising platform Glance.
“InMobi/Glance is in the market actively hiring talent for the ambitious plans that we have. We also evaluate the performance of our existing talent on an annual basis and make decisions based on it. This is business as usual for us and part of our annual process. This year is no different,” the adtech company was cited as saying.
The company also announced that it will skip increments for CY23 and also undertake recruitment only when required.
January 20 | Inc42 Exclusive: MediBuddy Fires 200 Employees After Restructuring
Lightrock India-backed healthtech startup MediBuddy fired around 200 employees after conducting a restructuring exercise. The tech, product, sales and operations teams were the worst impacted because of the sudden layoffs, sources told Inc42.
“While layoffs are never easy and it is painful in the short term, this was to realign our current business goals for long-term stability and growth. In this entire process of realignment, we had to part with 8% of the workforce across all departments as a one-time restructuring exercise and eliminate any redundancy in roles and responsibilities,” MediBuddy said in a written statement.
MediBuddy said it would provide outplacement assistance to the impacted employees. Further, it has designed a care package that includes MediBuddy wallet continuity and extended health coverage.
January 20 | Swiggy Lays Off 380 Employees Citing Restructuring To Cut Costs
Food delivery major Swiggy fired 380 employees as part of a restructuring exercise to cut costs, founder and CEO Sriharsha Majety said in an email to the employees on January 20. The layoffs impacted around 5% of Swiggy’s workforce.
“While we’d already initiated actions on other indirect costs like infrastructure, office/facilities, etc, we needed to right-size our overall personnel costs also in line with the projections for the future,” added the CEO. The layoffs come after Swiggy reported a 2.2X growth in its losses, which reached INR 3,628.9 Cr in FY 22 compared to INR 1,616.9 Cr in FY21.
Swiggy is offering several benefits to the outgoing employees, including a payout worth at least three months of salary, including all the bonuses and incentives. Employees can also avail of the payout equivalent to their notice period, plus 15 days ex-gratia for every completed year of service.
January 19 | Hubilo Goes For A Second Layoff, Fires 115 Employees
Event management startup Hubilo laid off 115 employees or around 35% of its workforce in a restructuring exercise.
In a written statement, the startup said, “Hubilo has made the difficult decision to restructure the company amid global macroeconomic conditions. Approximately 35% of the company was laid off as a result. We have made our best effort to ensure that the impacted employees are supported with generous severance packages as well as outplacement services to give them a smooth transition.”
Hubilo fired employees for the second time in six months after it fired around 45-50 employees in July 2022.
January 17 | Inc42 Exclusive: Exotel Lays Off 80 Employees
Bengaluru-based cloud telephony platform Exotel laid off 142 employees, or 15% of its workforce, citing their poor performance, sources told Inc42.
The layoffs took place following a revision in the startup’s performance improvement plan (PIP) policy in November 2022, under which Exotel removed the clause of giving two warnings to employees for below par performance.
However, a company spokesperson told Inc42 in a statement that 80 employees were impacted due to the revision in PIP policy and business restructuring.
An Exotel spokesperson, without confirming or denying the number of employees sacked, attributed the recent layoff exercise at the startup to restructuring and mid-year review.
“Recently, some members of our team have been affected due to our restructuring efforts (3%) & the mid-year review, business as usual performance improvement planning process (less than 5%),” the spokesperson said.
January 17 | Auto After-Sales Service Platform GoMechanic Fires 70% Employees
Automobile after-sales service startup GoMechanic sacked nearly 70% of its workforce, which amounted to nearly 500 employees being fired.
While Inc42 could not immediately verify the details, media reports noted that the startup’s backer Sequoia has launched a forensic audit of its finances amid allegations of financial irregularities at the startup. The startup is said to have a total loans of INR 120 Cr and ‘market pendency’ of INR 40 Cr.
The Gurugram-based startup needs to raise funds in the ‘next few months, sources familiar with the development added, as the startup does not have any runway beyond that.
January 16 | Quick Commerce Soonicorn Dunzo Fires 3% Workforce After Shutting Dark Stores
Reliance-backed quick commerce startup Dunzo laid off nearly 3% of its workforce, having shut down a few dark stores a few months ago. While the startup did not clarify how many employees left the organisation, media reports reported a number between 60 and 80.
“Whatever the numbers, these are people who chose to build their careers with Dunzo, and it is sad to have talented colleagues leave us. We are extending the best support possible to help them during this transition,” Dunzo CEO and cofounder Kabeer Biswas said in a statement.
As with the number of employees fired, Dunzo did not clarify the severance packages given to the impacted employeer, nor the departments the employees were fired from.
January 16 | Foodtech Unicorn Rebel Foods Fires 50 Employees Citing Performance Review
Foodtech unicorn Rebel Foods fired 50 employees, or about 2% of its workforce, citing an annual performance review at the startup. The startup did not provide details on the departments the employees were fired from or the sewerage benefits the said employees would be entitled to, if any.
“Any news heard is on account of annual performance evaluation and realigning the organisation to our priorities for future goals. The impacted number is less than 2% of our organisational strength,” a Rebel Foods spokesperson said.
The layoffs come after the startup‘s net loss widened 55% YoY to INR 564.4 Cr in FY22 from INR 364 Cr in FY21, while its revenue also doubled to INR 907 Cr from INR 436.5 Cr in FY21.
January 16 | ShareChat, Moj Parent Mohalla Tech Fires 500 Employees
Mohalla Tech Pvt Ltd, the parent company of content platforms Sharechat and Moj fired 500 employees or about 20% of its workforce. It was not immediately clear which departments were impacted by the layoffs.
In a statement, a Sharechat and Moj spokesperson said, “We’ve had to take some of the most difficult and painful decisions in our history as a company and had to let go of around 20% of our incredibly talented employees who have been with us in this startup journey.”
The impacted employees will be receiving the entire salary of their notice periods, two-weeks’ pay for each year served with the company and 100% of the variable pay till December 2022. Also, the company will allow impacted employees to encash unused leave balance of up to 45 days, while also allowing them to keep their office assets, such as laptops.
January 13 | Inc42 Exclusive: SaaS Start Skit.ai Fires 115 Employees Citing Restructuring
Bengaluru-based SaaS voice automation startup Skit.ai laid off around 115 employees citing restructuring at the firm, sources told Inc42. The sources added that the number could be as high as 130. The layoffs were announced by Skit.ai CEO and cofounder Sourabh Gupta during a town hall meeting.
The startup has fired employees across business analyst, software engineering, product, operations, SPM and CSM roles, the sources said. Most of the laid off employees are from the India team as the startup shifts its focus to the US market, according to Inc42 sources.
The startup has offered two months of salary as a severance package to the laid off employees and will extend their insurance coverage for the next six months, while also allowing employees to keep their assets such as laptops and iPads, documents reviewed by Inc42 showed.
January 12 | Crypto Unicorn CoinDCX Fires Employees As Part Of Restructuring Drive
Crypto unicorn CoinDCX fired some employees as part of a restructuring drive at the cryptocurrency exchange, a source close to the development told Inc42.
While the number was not immediately verifiable, media reports suggest that the crypto exchange has fired around 50 people from the sales and marketing teams at the company, or around 8% of its total workforce. The impacted employees have reportedly been given a month’s severance pay and let go after serving their notice periods.
The layoffs come as a prolonged crypto winter and the recent collapses of FTX and Terra Luna have shaken the public confidence in crypto as an asset class in India.
January 12 | Payments Soonicorn Cashfree Sacks 80 Employees Citing Organisational Reshuffle
Fintech platform Cashfree Payments sacked 80 employees – as many as 13% of its workforce – across several teams as part of an organisational restructuring, sources told Inc42. The fintech soonicorn could have fired as many as 120 people, but that could not be verified.
However, the company claimed that only 6-8% of the employees were affected by the retrenchment. The details of any severance packages or any other benefits that the outgoing employees would have been entitled to were not clear either.
“The organisation has reevaluated the relevance of certain roles and functions leading to movement of talent within teams and a few employee exits. This process of organisational restructuring has impacted around 6-8% of employees,” said a Cashfree spokesperson.
January 12 | Ola Fires 200 Employees Citing Restructuring
Mobility startup Ola fired 200 employees across verticals, citing an organisational restructuring. The laid off employees are from Ola Cabs, Ola Electric, and Ola Financial Services verticals, sources told Inc42.
Confirming the development, a Ola spokesperson told Inc42 in a statement, “We regularly conduct restructuring exercises to improve efficiencies, and there are roles which are now redundant. We will continue making new hires in engineering and design including senior talent in our key priority areas.”
The company offered severance packages as per their respective notice periods, they said, adding that the layoffs began earlier this week.
January 10 | LEAD Fires Another 60 Employees, Takes Total Layoffs To 100
Mumbai-based edtech startup LEAD laid off around 60 employees, mostly from the tech and product teams. However, the startup told Inc42 that it was a regular churn due to business activities.
In a statement shared with Inc42, LEAD said, “We have grown 2X this year and are hiring for growth. If projects don’t meet success criteria or don’t fit our strategic roadmap, teams are either re-assigned or asked to seek other opportunities. This is a regular business activity and a normal churn of 1-2 % in an organisation of 2,000 people.”
The layoffs came shortly after LEAD raised INR 35 Cr in debt from Alteria Capital, and shortly after the layoffs, the startup raised INR 160 Cr.
January 10 | Unacademy-Owned Relevel Fires 40 Employees As Company Pivots
Unacademy-owned Relevel plans to lay off 40 employees or nearly 20% of its workforce. In an internal mail sent to employees, Unacademy CEO and cofounder Gaurav Munjal cited Relevel’s pivot from core education business to test product business and focus on the newly launched NextLevel app as the reason for the layoffs.
“Almost 80% of Relevel’s remaining team will be absorbed by other businesses of Unacademy Group and we will have to let go of around 20% (around 40 people) of the team because of lack of availability of roles for them,” Munjal said in the mail.
The impacted employees would be provided with severance pay equal to the notice period and an additional two months. Besides, the company also said that the laid off workers would also get accelerated vesting, medical insurance and placement support.
January 6 | Bike Rental & EV Startup Bounce Fires 3-4% Of Staff Citing Restructuring
Bike rental and electric vehicle (EV) startup Bounce laid off around 3-4% of its total workforce as part of an ongoing ‘restructuring drive’. The layoffs largely affected customer service and other segments, Bounce said.
A company spokesperson told Inc42 that the employees were “let go off” phase wise and the exercise largely affected the non-original equipment manufacturer (OEM) vertical. As per the company, the layoffs largely affected customer service and other segments.
It is prudent to mention that media reports have mentioned a much higher number, to the tune of almost 250 employees being fired. The startup, however, has denied the claims.
January 5 | Ecommerce Rollup UpScalio Fires 15% Of Staff Citing Performance Review
UpScalio became the first Thrasio-style startup in the country to lay off employees, as it fired around 15% of its staff citing a performance review.
In a statement shared with Inc42, Ankur Singh, head of people and culture at UpScalio, said, “While UpScalio has been able to grow aggressively, we always keep a keen eye on profitability. As part of our standard annual employee appraisal process, in December, we have let go of 15% of our staff.”
The layoffs come nine months after the ecommerce rollup startup raised $15 Mn in its pre-Series B funding round in March 2022. UpScalio has raised around $60 Mn from investors across funding rounds.
January 5 | B2B Marketplace Moglix Fires 40 Employees Citing Automation
B2B industrial goods marketplace Moglix fired 40 employees – around 6% of its total workforce – citing process automation and performance reviews. While other media reports mentioned the number could be as high as 200, Inc42 could not independently verify the same.
“We have hired 700+ people this year and continue to expand with a target to hire 300+ people for 2023. We keep a watch out for low performers and continue to automate tasks, for which annually 2-3% of people can be impacted,” said Moglix in a statement.
Moglix posted a loss of INR $21.03 Mn in FY22, up 88.1% from $11.18 Mn in FY21. At the same time, its revenue rose 192% to $306.9 Mn from $105.2 Mn in FY21.
January 4 | upGrad-Owned Harappa Education Fires 40% Of Workforce After Business Model Change
upGrad-owned edtech startup Harappa Education fired around 73 employees – about 40% of its workforce – in the first layoff of 2023. The startup laid off employees from content, design, product, and marketing teams, sources told Inc42.
Harappa might just see more layoffs this month, as sources told Inc42 that more employees are likely to lose their jobs in the coming days. “This is the first phase of layoffs and there could be more. It seems that two lists were made – one for December and the other for January. Hence, in January more layoffs are expected,” the sources told Inc42.
Harappa Education was acquired by edtech unicorn upGrad for $38 Mn (INR 300 Cr) in July 2022. Last September, upGrad announced plans to invest $40 Mn (INR 320 Cr) in Harappa Education to drive the edtech’s growth.
December 26 | PayU India Fires 150 Employees After Org Reshuffle
PayU India, the payments and fintech unit Prosus, laid off around 6% of its workforce or around 150 employees citing an organisational reshuffle in India. The layoffs mainly affected PayU India’s digital payment security and mobile payment technology unit Wibmo, which it acquired for $70 Mn in 2019.
“Keeping in mind our highest strategic priorities, we are realigning teams across some of [our] businesses in India. As a result of which, regretfully we will to have part ways with some of our colleagues,” a PayU spokesperson told Inc42.
The layoffs at PayU happened despite the fintech achieving profitability in FY22. The startup’s FY22 results showed a profit of INR 126 Cr against revenue of INR 2,130.3 Cr.
December 16 | Listed SaaS Unicorn Freshworks Fires 90 Employees Citing Org Rejig
Nasdaq-listed enterprisetech major Freshworks fired around 90 employees as part of an organisational reshuffle, or about 2% of its total workforce. The employees were fired across sales, marketing, and engineering verticals.
“We shifted some existing roles in product, marketing and sales to support more critical initiatives and reduced the need for a small number of others – less than 2% of our workforce. Freshworks did not do a company-wide layoff,” said a Freshworks spokesperson. The company paid severance packages and other settlements to the impacted employees.
In the third quarter of FY22, Freshworks reported consolidated revenue of $128.8 Mn, up 37% YoY. During the same period, the company narrowed its losses to $58.3 Mn from $107.4 Mn during the year-ago period.
December 8 | Swiggy Lays Off 250+ Employees Citing Performance Review
Foodtech unicorn Swiggy joined its competitor Zomato in having fired employees in 2022, with news coming that it may lay off 250+ employees or around 3% of its total workforce after a performance review.
“We concluded our performance cycle in October and have announced ratings and promotions at all levels. As with every cycle, we expect exits based on performance,” a Swiggy spokesperson told Inc42. The layoffs come off the back of Jefferies reporting that Swiggy’s losses during H1 FY23 were six times higher than Zomato’s standalone losses during the same time.
Swiggy’s losses in the first half of FY23 were at around $315 Mn (INR 2,570 Cr), while Zomato’s standalone loss during the period remained around the $50 Mn (INR 410 Cr) mark.
December 7 | Vedantu Fires Another 385 Employees, Takes Total Layoffs To 1,109
Edtech unicorn Vedantu fired employees for the fourth time this month, laying off 385 people to take the total count to 1,109. The layoffs have impacted people from sales, HR and content teams.
The latest layoff comes around a month after the unicorn acquired a majority stake in Karnataka-based test prep platform Deeksha for $40 Mn. Internal sources told Inc42 that the startup was left with around 18 months of runway, prompting the decision to let go of employees again. Vedantu is left with 3,300 employees after the latest firings.
Vedantu is offering a salary of two months as a severance package and has extended the medical coverage for the fired employees till March 31, 2023, according to Inc42 sources.
December 3 | Inc42 Exclusive: Healthtech Startup HealthifyMe Fires 150 Employees Citing Global Recession Fears
Health and fitness startup HealthifyMe fired 150 employees, or about 15-20% of its total workforce, citing slow growth triggered by the fears of a global recession. Employees in SME (subject matter expert), quality analytics, product and marketing roles were impacted by the layoffs.
“We have had to take the tough decision to let go 150 of our team members. Like much of tech, growth hasn’t kept pace with expectations and hiring,” the startup said in a written statement. HealthifyMe will be offering a two-month severance package and will further extend medical coverage to the impacted employees.
The layoffs come a year and a half after the startup raised $75 Mn in a Series C round of funding, having raised $100 Mn to date.
December 3 | Inc42 Exclusive: Traveltech Major OYO Fires 600 Employees Across Multiple Teams
IPO-bound hospitality chain OYO fired 600 employees from tech roles in product and engineering teams. The layoffs come after OYO decided to merge the two teams.
“The downsizing in tech is also happening in teams which were developing pilots and proof of concepts such as in-app gaming, social content curation and patron-facilitated content,” said OYO in a statement. However, the hospitality chain did not provide any details of the benefits the outgoing employees would be entitled to.
Ritesh Agrawal, founder and CEO of OYO, added, “We will be doing all that we can to ensure that most of the people we are having to let go, are gainfully employed.” The layoffs come after OYO posted an adjusted EBITDA of INR 56 Cr in Q2FY23, its second consecutive EBITDA-positive quarter.
December 2 | Inc42 Exclusive: ShareChat Parent Shuts Down Fantasy Cricket Subsidiary Jeet11, Fires 100 Employees
Mohalla Tech Private Ltd, the parent company of ShareChat, has shut down its fantasy gaming platform Jeet11, sources aware of the development told Inc42. Mohalla Tech has also fired 100 employees, mostly from non-tech roles within Jeet11.
The shutdown comes two years after the ShareChat and Moj parent forayed into fantasy sport. “We can confirm that we are ceasing operations of Jeet11 and have reorganized some of our functions, which meant movement of this talent within teams and a few employee exits,” Mohalla Tech said, confirming the development.
The layoffs also come almost 19 months after the startup raised $502 Mn in its Series E round, becoming the first social media unicorn in the process.
November 30 | Inc42 Exclusive: Edtech Startup Teachmint Fires 45 Employees Citing Restructuring
Joining the contingent of edtech startup firing employees, Teachmint laid off 45 employees or about 5% of its workforce citing restructuring. Inc42 exclusively reported that the layoffs were conducted across sales and operations teams.
“The impacted employees have been informed in advance and we are supporting them to the maximum extent possible,” Teachmint said in a statement given to Inc42, confirming the development.
The layoffs came almost a year after the edtech startup raised $78 Mn in a Series B round led by new investors Rocketship.vc and Vulcan Capital. Teachmint has raised $118 Mn in total to date.
November 29 | Hiring Platform Hirect Fires 200 Employees Citing Restructuring
Bengaluru and US-based hiring platform Hirect fired 40% of its workforce, or 200 employees, citing an organisational restructuring and a change in its business model.
The layoffs triggered several social media posts from employees that were fired, alleging high spending on social media influencers, non-payment of PF contributions and dues, and non-receipt of relieving letters. Others reported that the startup did not provide any severance package or job search assistance as well.
According to Crunchbase, Hirect has raised nearly $15 Mn across several rounds. Incidentally, the startup was reported to have raised $14.6 Mn in its Series A just two days after conducting layoffs.
November 28 | VerSe Lays Off 150 Employees After Raising $805 Mn In April
The parent company of DailyHunt and Josh, VerSe Innovation, laid off 150 employees, or about 5% of its workforce of 3,000 before the layoffs. The startup also decided to undertake an 11% pay cut for employees with annual salaries of more than INR 10 Lakh, according to Inc42 sources.
According to Inc42 sources, most of the layoffs happened from the short video platform, Josh. The layoffs at VerSe come just a few months after it raised $805 Mn at a valuation of $5 Bn in April this year. Incidentally, the startup did not share details of the benefits the outgoing employees would receive.
The startup’s expenses surged 2.35X to INR 3,714 Cr in FY22 from INR 1,580 Cr in FY21, while revenue from operations increased only about 45% to INR 965 Cr in FY22.
November 19 | Zomato Fires At Least 100 Employees In Performance-Related Layoffs
Listed foodtech startup Zomato became the first in its segment to fire employees amid a global economic downturn, laying off 3-4% of its workforce. In response to Inc42’s queries, a Zomato spokesperson said, “There has been a regular performance-based churn of under 3% of our workforce; there’s nothing more to it.”
Over the last few weeks, Zomato has seen several high-profile exits, including cofounder Mohit Gupta. Further, Kuwait-based startup Talabat, who bought Zomato’s UAE food delivery business in 2019, shut down Zomato’s food delivery business there.
The foodtech unicorn narrowed its loss to INR 250.8 Cr in Q2 FY23 YoY.
November 9 | B2B Insurtech Plum Fires 10% Employees Citing Restructuring
Tiger Global-backed B2B insurtech player Plum fired 10% of its workforce, or about 36 employees, as part of a cost-cutting exercise. The startup said it conducted multiple cost-cutting measures before going for layoffs.
Plum’s CEO and founder Abhishek Poddar added that the impacted employees will receive severance pay, healthcare benefits, well-being counselling, ESOP vesting and placement and career support.
Notably, the layoffs came after Poddar had said Plum would increase its employee count to 1,000 by FY23. The startup’s last funding round was its Series A round worth $15.6 Mn, which saw Tiger Global participate. In all, the startup has raised $20.6 Mn.
November 7 | Unacademy Goes For Third Layoff Round, Fires 10% Employees
Edtech unicorn Unacadamy conducted its third round of layoffs citing “unprecedented times”, as communicated to the employees in an internal email. The third round of layoffs impacted 10% of its workforce, taking the total number of employees fired by Unacademy to 1500 for the year.
The layoffs come after the edtech major had said it would not conduct further layoffs during the earlier round. However, Unacademy’s losses almost doubled year-on-year (YoY) to INR 2,848 Cr in FY22. At the same time, the startup reported consolidated revenue of INR 719 Cr in FY22.
Unacademy said that the affected employees will receive severance pay equivalent to the notice period and an additional two months. Munjal also said that the affected employees will get medical insurance coverage for an additional year and a supposed ‘dedicated’ placement support.
November 7 | Edtech Startup Practically Lays Off Employees, Cuts Down Headcount By 190 In Three Months
Hyderabad-based K-12 STEM edtech startup Practically conducted a layoff in November, firing an unconfirmed number of employees. The edtech startup has gradually reduced its headcount by 190 employees since August 2022, according to Practically’s COO and cofounder Charu Noheria.
The layoffs at Practically come a year and a half after it raised $4 Mn in January 2021, after which it could not secure funding, resulting in the layoffs. Noheria told Inc42 that Practically’s last funding round worth $5 Mn could not materialise as investors backed out. The COO noted that the current investors have helped stabilise the startup.
November 4 | B2B Ecommerce Unicorn Udaan Fires 350 In Second Layoffs This Year
B2B ecommerce unicorn Udaan fired 350 employees, stating its move to turn profitable and “achieve efficiency”. The move comes less than five months after the ecommerce unicorn fired 180 people to cut costs, which Inc42 exclusively reported.
“As we move forward in our journey towards making Udaan a profitable company, the efficiency enhancement drive and the evolution in business model has created some redundancies in the system, with some roles no longer required,” an Udaan spokesperson told Inc42.
November 2 | SaaS Unicorn Chargebee Lays Off 10% Employees Citing Macroeconomic Conditions
Chennai-based SaaS unicorn Chargebee fired 10% of its staff citing macroeconomic conditions and a need to cut costs going forward. The development was confirmed in a LinkedIn post shared by the cofounder Kris Subramanian. The move impacted 142 employees across departments.
Chargebee said that the employees impacted will receive three months’ pay, three months of extended medical benefits and outplacement service. “This difficult decision was driven by external market forces as well as our need to address the operational debt we have accumulated in the last few years,” said Subramanian.
October 12 | FrontRow Fires 125-130 Employees, Takes Layoff Total To 275
After having laid off 145 employees in May, edtech startup FrontRow laid off another 125-130 employees. With the latest layoffs, the edtech startup has laid off as much as 85% of its total workforce in less than six months.
FrontRow founder Ishaan Preet Singh said, “Unfortunately, as we realized that a sales and marketing-led approach to this market didn’t work with our current delivery model, we had to let go a large part of our team.” Singh added that the laid-off employees would receive a month’s salary as severance.
The layoffs come almost a year after the startup raised $14 Mn in its Series A funding round. FrontRow is backed by Deepika Padukone’s Family Office, Vishal Dadlani, rapper Raftaar, CRED’s Kunal Shah, Unacademy’s Gaurav Munjal and ShareChat’s Farid Ahsan.
October 12 | BYJU’S Lays Off 2,500 Employees After Notching Up INR 4,588 Cr In Losses
India’s most valuable startup BYJU’S laid off 2,500 employees from its workforce, citing its push to achieve profitability by the end of FY23. The decacorn laid off employees across product, content, media, and technology teams.
The edtech giant has also restructured its business, consolidating its K-10 acquired businesses such as Toppr, Meritnation, TutorVista, HashLearn, and Scholar into one unit, while Great Learning and Aakash would operate independently.
The move comes seven months after BYJU’S announced raising $800 Mn in a funding round and just weeks after it published its financial report for FY21. The edtech major clocked up INR 4,588 Cr in losses, almost 20X higher compared to FY20.
October 3 | WazirX Lays Off 60+ Employees Amid Crypto Winter
Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX laid off around 40% of its workforce, or at least 60 people, citing adverse economic conditions. The startup laid off across customer support, HR and other teams. WazirX has also relieved the entire public policy and communication team of its duties.
The laid-off employees would receive severance pay for 45 days and would not be required to report for work effective immediately. The reduced trade volumes across crypto exchanges in India prompted the startup to conduct layoffs.
The layoffs came when WazirX is facing heat from Indian authorities such as the ED on allegations of money laundering and tax evasion. Further, it was recently embroiled in a public spat with Binance after the Chinese crypto exchange denied acquiring WazirX.
September 19 | Dukaan Lays Off 23 Employees Citing Restructuring And Automation
Dukaan tech startup Dukaan laid off 23 employees citing restructuring and automation. Cofounder and CEO Suumit Shah announced the layoffs in a Twitter thread on September 19. Dukaan laid off employees in live chat support, call support and on the tech front after those processes were automated.
“Since we shifted our whole focus from the small kirana/SMB segment to enterprises/D2C brands, there wasn’t much of a role for live chat support or call support, and on the tech front, we automated a lot of stuff,” said the cofounder in a tweet.
The move comes more than a year after Dukaan raised $11 Mn in Series A; the enterprisetech startup has raised $17 Mn in funding so far.
September 19 | Ola Lays Off 200 Software Engineers As Part Of Its Restructuring Plan
Mobility giant Ola laid off 200 software engineers as part of its mega restructuring plan in a bid to centralise its operations and reduce redundancies. The startup had over 2,000 engineering roles across verticals, with 10% of them let go during the layoffs.
The unicorn has also hinted at hiring 3,000 more engineers in the coming months as part of its restructuring plan. The layoffs come after unconfirmed reports suggested the unicorn laid off as many as 2,100 off-role employees a few months ago.
Over the past few months, Ola has shut down various verticals in a bid to streamline its operations, including the used cars marketplace Ola Cars, the quick commerce vertical Ola Dash and its car-leasing service to drivers on Ola.
September 16 | Inc42 Exclusive: Clear Lays Off Around 200 Employees Citing Restructuring
SaaS startup Clear (formerly Cleartax) laid off 190-200 employees or about 20% of its total workforce. The startup cited restructuring to extend the runway as a reason for conducting layoffs across teams. According to Inc42 sources, the number of employees laid off could get higher.
The layoffs come after Clear made two acquisitions this year, compliance application CimplyFive and supply chain financing application Xpedize. The startup’s last funding round saw it raise $75 Mn in October 2021.
Clear reported a loss after tax of INR 118 Cr in FY21, 24% higher from INR 95 Cr in FY20. The startup reported an increase in both total income and total expenses during the said fiscal year.
September 7 | Inc42 Exclusive: Rupeek Lays Off 50 More Employees, Takes Total Count To 230
After laying off 180 employees exactly three months ago, fintech startup Rupeek laid off another 50 employees. The number let go amounted to around 5% of Rupeek’s workforce, said a spokesperson. The latest layoffs take the total number to 230, or around 20% of the startup’s original workforce.
Incidentally, these pink slips were issued just a day after Inc42 exclusively reported that Rupeek is in talks with investors to raise $16 Mn. So far, the fintech startup has raised $134 Mn, with its latest funding round back in January 2022.
Rupeek reported a loss of INR 156 Cr in FY21, down 68% from INR 487 Cr in FY20. At the same time, its total revenue grew to INR 88.5 Cr from INR 31.9 Cr in FY20.
September 1 | Inc42 Exclusive: Healthtech Unicorn Innovaccer Lays Off 120 Employees Amid ‘Adverse Economic Conditions’
Healthtech unicorn Innovaccer laid off 120 employees citing ‘adverse economic conditions’, with most of the employees being from the tech team. Many team managers have also been laid off, resulting in multiple projects shutting down.
According to Inc42 sources, Innovaccer offered a three-month salary as a severance package to the impacted employees. Innovaccer cofounder and CEO Abhinav Shashank confirmed the layoffs to Inc42.
The layoffs come nine months after Innovaccer doubled its valuation to $3.3 Bn after raising $150 Mn. In all, the healthtech unicorn has raised $375 Mn over its lifetime.
August 31 | Inc42 Exclusive: Microblogging Site Koo Lays Off Over 5% Workforce
Koo, the microblogging site being touted as India’s answer to Twitter, laid off 5% workforce. Most of the employees that were laid off were from the operations and backend teams.
The social media startup last raised funds in February 2022, when a dozen investors pumped $10 Mn into the startup. In all, Koo has raised $44.5 Mn so far.
August 25 | Meesho Shuts Down Meesho Superstore Operations In 90% Cities, Lays Off 300+ Employees
Ecommerce unicorn Meesho shut down the majority of its Superstore business, according to Inc42 sources. This has resulted in around 300 people being laid off as Meesho rolled back Superstore to only two cities, after expanding to six states in a short amount of time.
Sources told Inc42 that Meesho offered two months of salary as a severance package to the employees. It has also absorbed some of the on-roll employees in its core business. According to Inc42 sources, low revenue and high cash burn prompted the ecommerce unicorn to roll back its e-grocery service.
The layoffs come after Meesho raised a whopping $570 Mn in 2021 alone, having raised $1.1 Bn since it was founded in 2015.
August 5 | Edtech LEAD Lays Off Around 100 People After Performance Appraisal
Edtech unicorn LEAD has laid off around 100 employees as part of a performance appraisal process. The employees that were laid off belonged to multiple departments at the edtech unicorn.
A LEAD spokesperson said that performance appraisals happen each year and cited the layoffs as part of the same process. While media reports seemed to suggest a number of around 100, LEAD stated that the number is less than 100, without sharing the exact number of employees let go.
The layoffs come almost eight months after LEAD became a unicorn after raising $100 Mn in a funding round.
August 2 | Vedantu Takes Its Layoff Tally To Over 724 Employees; Conducts Third Layoff Citing Restructuring
Edtech startup Vedantu laid off a combined 724 employees across three layoffs, giving internal restructuring as the primary reason. Incidentally, Vedantu got the unicorn tag last year after raising $100 Mn in funding.
The edtech’s first layoff came on May 5, when Inc42 exclusively reported that the edtech startup laid off 200 employees. The edtech startup said that it will be hiring around 1,000 people in the coming months. However, Vedantu conducted another layoff on May 17, this time firing 424 employees.
The third layoff came on August 2; Inc42 exclusively reported that Vendantu laid off more than 100 of its employees citing restructuring. The edtech asked the employees to put in their papers between July 4 and July 9 this year.
July 20 | Inc42 Exclusive: BlueStacks Lays Off 60 Indian Employees Citing Restructuring
Android emulator platform BlueStacks laid off 60 of its Indian employees as part of a restructuring exercise within the company. The layoffs impacted employees in various departments in BlueStacks’ Delhi office.
Hue Harguindeguy, CHRO, BlueStacks confirmed the developments to Inc42, stating that owing to macroeconomic changes, the startup had to realign. Harguindeguy added that the startup is helping the employees that were let go find new jobs.
BlueStacks has offered a one-month salary as severance pay to the laid-off employees which also includes medical benefits, per Inc42 sources.
July 12 | Event Tech Startup Hubilo Lays Off 12% Employees Citing Restructuring
Event tech startup Hubilo laid off 12% of its workforce, or around 45-50 employees after it stated that it will shift its focus to live and hybrid events. The Bengaluru and San Francisco-based has laid off employees across several departments.
A Hubilo spokesperson told Inc42 that the layoffs are a strategy to boost business. “On July 7th, Hubilo let go of approximately 12% of its workforce to pursue a strategy that will allow it to lay the foundation for the future of virtual, live, and hybrid events. We greatly value the contributions of all our team members,” the spokesperson said. Hubilo claimed that it has offered compensation packages and benefits, including stock options, bonuses, laptop retention, and job placement assistance to laid-off employees.
The layoffs come nine months after the startup had raised $125 Mn in a funding round.
July 12 | Inc42 Exclusive: Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Delivery Startup Fraazo Lays Off Over 150 Employees
Mumbai-based fresh fruit and vegetable delivery startup Fraazo has laid off more than 150 employees amid a cash crunch, winding down operations in Delhi NCR entirely and shutting down 50 dark stores across the country in the process. The layoffs took place across operations, tech, product, procurement, HR store managers, and planning and growth teams, among others, to cut expenses amidst a fund crunch.
Inc42 sources also noted that the number would be much higher if we include off-role employees such as delivery drivers. The employees that will leave the startup will receive a month’s salary as a severance package, mostly based on notice periods of the said employees.
The layoffs come nine months after the startup raised $50 Mn in a Series B funding round. Fraazo is shutting down more dark stores in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, which will result in more layoffs, particularly for the off-role employees.
June 30 | Inc42 Exclusive: Edtech Startup Crejo.Fun Shuts Down, Leaving 170 Employees Without A Job
Bengaluru-based edtech startup Crejo.Fun became the second edtech startup to shut down in June alone after Udayy, after failing to raise funding and schools reopening. The company claims to have refunded all of the customers, while it works to sell the IP to return some capital to the investors.
The company had raised $3 Mn in pre-seed funding last year from Matrix Partners India and Flipkart cofounder Binny Bansal-backed venture capital firm 021 Capital. However, it had been more than 14 months since then and Crejo.Fun was under pressure to raise fresh funding. The company’s 170-strong workforce will receive salary for July and the company claims that almost 90% of the same have been placed elsewhere.
Cofounder Vikas Bansal confirmed the development with Inc42, saying in a written statement that even though the company grew well even with schools reopening, it has decided to shut down operations. “However we were running out of funds and while we were trying to raise capital for the last couple of months, but given the fundraising environment, we were unable to raise funds,” Bansal added.
June 29 | Inc42 Exclusive: EV Mobility Startup Oye Rickshaw Lays Off 40 Employees
Gurugram-based EV mobility startup Oye Rickshaw laid off 40 employees amid increasing losses and declining business, becoming the first in its industry to do so. Employees from tech, sales, marketing and several on-ground executives have been laid off by the startup citing adverse market conditions.
Mohit Sharma, cofounder and CEO of Oye Rickshaw, in a statement, said, “As we head towards a market downturn, we have had to make some difficult decisions to ensure the company continues to stay stable and achieve our mission of redefining India’s EV ecosystem.” Sharma said that when market improves in the future, the startup would look to get some of the laid-off employees back on board.
After having raised INR 24 Cr in a debt round last year, Inc42 was also informed that Oye Rickshaw is raising another INR 40 Cr in debt for day-to-day operations and to buy more batteries for its battery-swapping business.
June 29 | BYJU’S-owned Toppr Lays Off 350+ Citing Restructuring
In another layoff at a BYJU’s-owned edtech company, Toppr has laid off around 350 employees citing company restructuring. Most of the impacted employees were subject matter experts, content developers, managers and heads of departments for various subjects, among others, according to Inc42 sources.
According to an email sent to laid-off employees accessed by Inc42, the company said that it conducted a restructuring and that left multiple roles redundant. Toppr will provide severance payment equivalent to the notice period of the laid-off employees, along with a package including 15 days’ salary for each year completed and prorata performance bonus (if applicable) till June 30.
A BYJU’s spokesperson told Inc42 that it has absorbed 80% of Toppr’s workforce, after having bought the edtech startup for $150 Mn last year. In FY21, Toppr incurred a loss of INR 125.9 Cr. It generated INR 52 Cr in revenue, of which INR 50.6 Cr came from operations. Its expense stood at INR 178 Cr during the same time.
June 28 | Nova Benefits Lays Off 70 Employees Citing Restructuring, Takes Total Layoffs To 80
Bengaluru-based employees wellness platform Nova Benefits has laid off 70 employees as a result of restructuring. Earlier this month, the startup had laid off 10 employees, and the current layoffs take the total employees impacted to 80, or about 40% of its total workforce. The employees were laid off from sales, accounts, marketing and creative teams, among others.
“We owe everyone at Nova a challenging, fast-paced growth path. However, in the face of our redefined business strategy, we cannot provide this to 30% of our teammates,” a mass mail accessed by Inc42 read. The startup also cited cost-cutting as a reason to lay people off and conduct a business restructuring.
The layoffs come four months after it raised an undisclosed amount from Naval Ravikant-backed AngelList Early-Stage Quant Fund. In September, last year, the startup had raised $10 Mn in its Series A which Inc42 had exclusively reported. The round back then was led by Susquehanna International Group (SIG) and Bessemer Venture Partners.
June 28 | Inc42 Exclusive: BYJU’s-owned WhiteHat Jr Lays Off 300 Citing Cost Cutting
After forcing around 1,000 employees to resign as it called them to work from office, BYJU’s-owned WhiteHat Jr has laid off around 300 employees to cut costs. The sales, marketing and operations teams were the affected teams, with the first two being the worst affected.
According to Inc42 sources, the management has cited business restructuring as the reason behind the layoffs. Another source informed Inc42 that the WhiteHat Jr is in process of firing more people, and the number of employees impacted could double to reach 600 by the end of it. The company is said to have run out of operating capital, and is set to be completely absorbed by BYJU’s, a person said on condition of anonymity.
WhiteHat Jr has been posting staggering losses. In FY21, the edtech startup recorded INR 1,690.4 Cr in losses. During the same fiscal, it spent INR 2,175.2 Cr to earn INR 483.9 Cr.
June 27 | Inc42 Exclusive: Ecommerce Platform Udaan Lays Off 180 Citing Cost Cutting
B2B ecommerce platform Udaan became the eighth ecommerce startup to lay employees off in 2022, laying off 180 employees citing cost-cutting. While the layoffs do not amount to a significant percentage of its employees, Inc42 sources said that there are more layoffs to come. The number of employees affected can reach as high as 600, sources said.
Udaan has conducted the layoffs mere months after it raised $250 Mn in a round from big-name investors such as Microsoft, M&G Prudential, Kaiser Permanente, Nomura, TOR and others. In a statement given to Inc42, Udaan said that it will support outgoing employees. Udaan has said that it will provide medical insurance, a compensation package and outplacement assistance.
Udaan generated INR 5,919 Cr in revenues at an expense of INR 8,742 Cr in FY21. The startup narrowed its loss to INR 2,482.3 Cr in FY21 from INR 2,518.7 Cr in FY20. According to an internal mail sent a week before the layoff, the CEO Vaibhav Gupta had said that Udaan was en route to hit positive unit economics by the end of the June quarter. However, the startup still cited unit economics as a reason to lay people off.
June 20 | Inc42 Exclusive: Sequoia Surge-backed Aqgromalin Lays Off 80 After Investors Back Out
Chennai-based Animal husbandry and aquaculture startup Aqgromalin laid off 80 full-time employees from its corporate offices as a funding round did not materialise. The layoffs account for 30% of the startup’s total workforce and have impacted marketing, sales and support, among other teams.
The funding round was supposed to be led by a Korean fund, which pulled out on the day of signing the deal. The layoffs came almost five months after Aqgromalin raised $5.25 Mn in a pre-Series A round from the likes of Sequoia India’s Surge, Omnivore Partners and Zephyr Peacock India.
The layoffs have also likely prompted a pivot in the startup’s business, as Inc42 sources told that Aqgromalin might look to move away from animal husbandry and focus only on its aquaculture business. The Chennai-based startup is also in talks for a potential merger, with Licious coming up as a potential candidate.
June 18 | Social Commerce Startup CityMall Lays Off 191 Employees Citing Restructuring
Gurugram-based social commerce startup CityMall has laid off 191 employees, both on-roll and off-roll, across multiple positions citing restructuring. The move comes three months after the startup had raised $75 Mn in its Series C round of funding.
The startup has shuttered its operations in Noida and is likely to do the same at the warehouse in Jaipur, according to Inc42 sources. The startup has also closed two dark stores for one-day delivery in Rohtak and Gurugram.
CityMall recorded a loss of INR 15.18 Cr in FY21, having spent INR 28.9 Cr to make INR 15.18 Cr. A CityMall spokesperson, confirming the development, told Inc42 that the startup will provide outgoing employees with outplacement assistance to find jobs at other places.
June 17 | Inc42 Exclusive: Unacademy Lays Off 150 Employees, Takes Total Layoffs To 1,150
It has been a difficult few months to be an edtech employee, and this is far more evident at Unacademy than anywhere else.
The edtech unicorn has conducted four separate layoffs citing cost-cutting, performance reviews, restructuring and whatnot, as it pivots to offline and perhaps more interestingly, into SaaS with Cohesive, all in a bid to achieve profitability.
In late March, Inc42 first reported that in a cost-cutting exercise, the edtech startup had laid off more than 125 consultants from its PrepLadder team. PrepLadder, which was acquired by Unacademy in July 2020 for $50 Mn, gives students material for competitive exams such as IIT/JEE, NEET and so on.
Days later, Unacademy laid off more than 200 teachers in a cost restructuring exercise. Inc42 exclusively reported that the edtech unicorn fired the educators based on their poor performance. In early April, the startup laid teachers off again, this time firing 600 teachers. The layoffs, according to a company spokesperson, were based on several assessments to determine the performance.
The latest layoff has seen Unacademy lay off 150 more employees, mostly from its sales and operations verticals. According to Inc42 sources, the impacted employees are from Unacademy Group’s core business, Unacademy, and PrepLadder.
June 16 | Inc42 Exclusive: IPO-Bound PharmEasy Lays Off 40 Employees From Subsidiary Docon Technologies
PharmEasy’s parent company, API Holdings has laid off 40 employees from its subsidiary Docon Technologies, an EMR or electronic medical record solutions provider. Docon has seen layoffs mostly across the sales background, such as business development managers, cluster heads and area managers.
Docon has been taken apart and incorporated into PharmEasy by API Holdings, forming PharmEasy One. According to Inc42 sources, many of the employees had resigned following the restructuring, and the remaining 40 employees were the ones that were laid off from the Docon team.
Docon Technologies made a loss of INR 29.7 Cr in FY21 against a total income of INR 2.25 Cr. Currently, it has stopped all on-ground operations and is working virtually.
June 14 | Inc42 Exclusive: Breathe Well-being Lays Off 50 To Cut Costs
Gurugram-based healthtech startup Breathe Well-being laid off around 50 employees or around 30% of its total workforce over the last few weeks in a bid to cut costs and extend its runway. The sales, operations, tech, and talent acquisitions, among others, are the teams that were impacted by the layoffs.
Per Inc42 sources, the startup had been aggressively hiring until April, looking to raise fresh funding. However, in failing to do so, it has not only laid off existing employees but also rescinded offer letters from employees that were supposed to join soon.
As per FY21, the startup had incurred a total loss of INR 2.27 Cr, while generating sales worth INR 39.2 Lakh, registering expenses of INR 2.66 Cr. The company had last raised $5.5 Mn in a funding round last August.
June 10 | Inc42 Exclusive: Logistics SaaS Startup FarEye Lays Off 250 Employees Citing Restructuring
New Delhi-based logistics SaaS startup FarEye has laid off 250 employees this week, impacting employees across offices in India, North America and Europe. FarEye has laid off across its product & engineering, professional services, talent acquisition, quality analysts, sales and developers teams, among others.
According to founder and CEO Kushal Nahata, the layoffs have happened because of a shift in focus of the startup and internal restructuring. He said that the laid-off employees will receive “rightful benefits and entitlements”, though employees that talked with Inc42 blame extensive hiring for the layoffs.
Notably, the layoffs come slightly over a year after FarEye raised $100 Mn in a Series E round. The startup has raised $150 Mn so far. FarEye recorded losses of INR 62 Cr on a standalone basis in FY21, having incurred an expenditure of INR 142.2 Cr during the same period.
June 9 | Inc42 Exclusive: Edtech Startup Yellow Class Lays Off 19 Employees
Elevation Capital-backed edtech startup Yellow Class has let go of around 19 employees in recent weeks. The startup had informed its team about the layoffs on May 19, as per Inc42 sources.
While Inc42 sources hinted that a lack of funds is the reason behind the layoffs, founder Anshul Garg denied any such claims. He agreed on the layoff count but said the layoffs were part of restructuring as Yellow Class has chosen to focus deeply on fewer initiatives. The startup had a total workforce ranging from 120 to 130 on its payroll.
The layoffs have come almost 10 months after Yellow Class raised $6 Mn in its Series A round led by Elevation Capital along with a clutch of angel investors including Vidit Aatrey, and Dhruv Agarwala.
June 7 | Sequoia-Backed Gold Loans Startup Rupeek Lays Off 200 People To Cut Costs
The Bengaluru-based gold loans provider Rupeek laid off 200 people in a bid to cut costs. The laid-off workforce represents 10-15% of Rupeek’s total workforce, a company spokesman said, adding that the startup will support the outgoing employees without sharing any details.
Rupeek’s layoffs came five months after it had raised $34 Mn in January 2022, valuing the startup at over $600 Mn. So far, the fintech soonicorn has raised $134 Mn in venture capital funding.
Incidentally, the startup reported a net loss of INR 156.5 Cr in FY21, having incurred a total expense of INR 245 Cr. The startup reported a net income of INR 88.5 Cr in FY21.
June 4 | SoftBank-Backed Edtech Startup Eruditus Lays Off 40 Employees After Resizing Expansion Plans
Mumbai-based edtech unicorn Eruditus laid off 40 employees from its workforce. The company has rolled back its expansion plans to around 100-150 hirings this year, eliminating the need for a large talent acquisition team.
“So that team (talent acquisition), unfortunately, has been affected. And yes, we have downsized that team because we don’t need the same set of people,” Eruditus cofounder and CEO Ashwin Damera said.
According to Damera, Eruditus scaled down its expansion plans to achieve profitability in the near term, saying that the startup’s India business is already profitable.
June 2 | Inc42 Exclusive: Info Edge-Backed Yojak Fires 140 Employees, Shuts Domestic Operations
Gurugram-based construction-focused ecommerce startup Yojak laid off 140 employees in April and May. Yojak is also shutting down its domestic operations and will now focus on Yojak Exports to export construction materials and equipment.
The startup, backed by Info Edge, ran out of funds to operate its domestic operations, sources claimed. Out of the 140 employees it has asked to leave, 60 were full-time, while 80 were contractual hirings. Yojak founder Rachit Garg further told Inc42 that the startup has laid off many third-party workers, without sharing any numbers for the same.
Yojak’s employee benefits expenses increased by 40-50% since January 2022 owing to its aggressive hiring, which saw its runway shrink significantly.
June 1 | Edtech Startup Udayy Shuts Down, Leaves 100 Employees Jobless
Gurugram-based edtech startup Udayy said that it will be shutting down operations, three years after it was founded by Saumya Yadav in 2019. This has left 100 people that it employed without a job.
At the time of the shutdown, the edtech claimed to have users across 45 cities, with 400 classes a day being operated. Udayy had last raised $2.5 Mn in January last year in a seed funding round, backed by the likes of Alpha Wave Global and InfoEdge Ventures. In all, the early stage startup had raised $13.5 Mn of institutional capital.
Udayy’s founder and CEO told Inc42 that it has given severances to its employees and contractural teachers. After winding up operations, Udayy will also return $8.5 Mn to some investors.
May 31 | Inc42 Exclusive: Indiabulls’ Social Commerce Venture Yaari Lays off 150 Employees
The social commerce platform Yaari, a venture of Indiabulls, asked almost 150 employees to submit their resignations in the last week of April. The impacted employees, from the supply support, customer support, business development and marketing teams, account for 60% of its total workforce.
Yaari looked to compete with the likes of Meesho and Trell, but it was underfunded by several orders of magnitude as compared to the two unicorns. According to several employees Inc42 talked with, the company was not doing well. Even so, the employees were reassured of their jobs.
In the aftermath of the layoffs, Yaari’s tech team has been absorbed by Dhani.com, another Indiabulls-backed ecommerce venture. Yaari itself will be merged with Dhani.com as well.
May 30 | MPL Lays Off 100 Employees, Exits Indonesia, Shuts Down Streaming
Mobile Premier League (MPL), the fantasy gaming unicorn, laid off 100 people from multiple teams. The layoff has impacted about 10% of its total workforce as the unicorn exits Indonesia and shuts down its streaming service.
In an email to employees, MPL cofounders Sai Srinivas and Shubh Malhotra said, “It is time to make the difficult decision to redeploy our resources in other parts of our business to ensure our long-term health and success as a company.”
The unicorn had last raised $150 Mn in funding in September 2021, becoming one of India’s 100 unicorns at that point. The layoffs come eight months after the said fundraise.
May 27 | Inc42 Exclusive: FrontRow Lays Off 145 Employees To Cut Costs
Extracurricular edtech startup FrontRow laid off 145 employees across sales, quality control and HR teams. The layoff, impacting almost a third of the startup’s total employees, has been done to cut costs and increase the startup’s runway. According to Inc42 sources, the sales team alone saw 100 people fired.
FrontRow founder Ishaan Preet Singh told Inc42 that the decision was taken to ensure that the startup has over 24 months of runway. “This included letting go of ~30% of our team, primarily in sales, to make sure that we come out of this market stronger,” he added.
FrontRow laid off employees eight months after it raised $14 Mn in a Series A funding round, having raised $17 Mn in funding overall, having the backing of the likes of Deepika Padukone, and several other angel investors.
May 24 | Invact Metaversity Crashes; Lays Off 66% Of Workforce
Invact Metaversity, founded by ex-Twitter India head Manish Maheshwari, started as a promising edtech startup, offering a 16-week MBA alternative for around INR 2 Lakh. The first course was supposed to start on May 12.
However, even before anything like that, the Metaversity is all but closed up, having laid off 20 out of the 30 employees that were working from the Bengaluru office. Maheshwari had announced his plans in December 2021 and the startup had raised more than $5 Mn from some of India’s biggest angel investors.
Even so, Metaversity’s fall from grace has come as little surprise, as the founders struggled to find the right product and the right approach. The startup lacked a shared vision among the leadership.
Last evening, Metaversity said that Maheshwari has stepped down from his position as CEO.
May 21 | Inc42 Exclusive: MFine Lays Off 600 Employees Prompting Protests
In what proved to be another example of apathy of a startup, healthtech startup MFine fired almost 75% of its workforce citing financial difficulties.
However, the writing was already on the wall for MFine. The company had reported a loss after tax worth INR 102.7 Cr in FY21, as it spent INR 116 Cr to make INR 12.9 Cr. According to an ex-employee, MFine had already been firing people in small batches since October 2021.
Entire teams were laid off in the process, which triggered protests against the startup as 100 former employees gathered outside MFine’s Bengaluru office. The protestors demanded the rollout of the full May salary along with an early release of their full & final payment.
However, not only did MFine not let Inc42 enter the office, it did not allow female ex-employees, which included a pregnant woman, to use the restroom.
May 19 | Inc42 Exclusive: Cars24 Lays Off 600 Citing Automation, Cost Cutting
Used car unicorn Cars24 also joined the list of startups that have laid employees off. Mostly laying off across lower divisions, Cars24 cited automating operations and cutting costs as the two reasons for laying off 7% of its total workforce.
On the other hand, the unicorn has raised $950 Mn across its lifetime. These layoffs come five months after it raised $400 Mn at a valuation of $3.3 Bn. Speaking on the layoffs, a Cars24 spokesperson told Inc42, “This is business as usual – performance-linked exits that happen every year.”
The startup is looking for an IPO over the next 18-24 months, joining the list of Indian startups that are waiting for the storm to pass to go for a public listing.
May 17 | Vedantu Lays Off 624 Employees In 15 Days Citing Restructuring
Edtech startup Vedantu laid off a combined 624 employees across two layoffs within a span of 15 days, citing cost restructuring as the primary reason.
First, Inc42 exclusively reported that the edtech startup laid off 200 employees. The edtech startup said that it will be hiring around 1,000 people in the coming months. However, two weeks in, Vedantu conducted another layoff, this time firing 424 employees.
The startup has conducted the layoffs after it achieved the unicorn tag last year after raising $100 Mn in funding. A blog post by CEO Vamsi Krishna showed that the startup will extend health benefits for laid-off employees and their families till August 5, 2022.
May 10 | Inc42 Exclusive: WhiteHat Jr Conducts ‘Soft’ Layoffs As 1,000 Employees Resign
In a strange and probably the first case of its kind, Indian startup WhiteHat Jr asked its remote employees to either join offices or hand in their resignations. Inc42 had exclusively reported the resignations of 800 employees, however, after publishing the story several employees reached out, claiming the number to be more than 1,000.
According to ex-employees, this was a layoff in disguise. Interestingly, Inc42 learnt that if an employee is based out of Gurugram, they were not allowed to join WhiteHat Jr’s Gurugram’s office, but the Bengaluru office for a similar job role.
The edtech startup’s soft layoffs have triggered the debate between working remotely and working from the office as more and more companies are asking their employees to join. However, WhiteHat Jr gave the employees no choice at all.
April 21 | Ola Restructures Quick Commerce Business; Lays Off 2,100 Dark Store Workers
After going bullish on quick commerce twice before, Bhavish Aggarwal-led Ola’s quick commerce arm Ola Dash went for restructuring its entire business, which resulted in the unicorn laying off around 2,100 dark store workers. Ola ended the contracts of these workers who were hired to man its 200 dark stores.
In terms of its dark stores, Ola has reportedly scaled down half of them and may even shut a few of them down. The unicorn had run into regulator challenges with bringing in its $500 Mn term loan from foreign lenders and that had prompted the scale back.
However, doing a 180 recently, Ola has announced that it will go for quick commerce again, scaling down its food delivery operations this time around. This means that laying off those 2,100 people meant nothing, as the company tries hard to pivot away from its core business of cab aggregation.
April 11 | Layoffs At Meesho: 150 Employees Fired Citing Restructuring
The ecommerce unicorn Meesho laid off 150 employees, saying that it is restructuring Meesho Superstore which has impacted the said number of employees.
Meesho said, “As we look to boost efficiencies in the light of the integration, a small number of full-time roles and certain third-party positions on six-month contracts at Meesho Superstore were reassessed to remove redundancies with the core business.”
The layoffs happened less than seven months after the unicorn raised $570 Mn in funding. The ecommerce and social commerce unicorn tried its hands at grocery delivery with a pilot project in Karnataka less than nine months ago. It had plans to expand to Tier 2+ cities, but it has had to scale back following limited success.
March 26 | Furlenco Lays Off 180 Employees To Cut Costs
Furniture startup Furlenco laid off around 180 employees to cut costs and achieve profitability ahead of a public offering, according to several employees Inc42 spoke to.
Around 95% of the employees let go were in customer-facing roles which include customer support and other similar roles. The startup claims to have extended medical coverage for the impacted employees, which constitute almost a third of the startup’s total workforce.
The layoffs come as the company had raised $165 Mn in funding last year alone, including a $24 Mn funding round in February 2022 itself.
March 14 | Trell Lays Off Half Of Its Workforce To Extend Runway, Cut Costs
Bengaluru-based social commerce platform Trell laid off 300 employees after the company’s founders were alleged of financial irregularities and the company saw its $100 Mn funding round fall through.
Amid the boardroom tussle, which saw the company’s investors order an investigation against the founders and the founders hitting back, the company’s employees suffered.
The layoffs were cited to be an exercise to cut costs and extend its runway as Trell looked to survive. The company incurred a loss of 78.4 Cr in FY21. This is an almost 550% increase from INR 12.07 Cr that it had incurred in FY20.
March 10 | Blinkit Lays Off Nearly 1,600 Employees After Splurging INR 600 Cr
Quick commerce startup Blinkit reportedly laid off employees across major cities including Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. The layoffs impacted close to 5% of Blinkit’s overall workforce, which amounts to around 1,600 people, including riders, pickers and store managers.
The layoffs came on the heels of Zomato investing $150 Mn in the cash-strapped company, which had also picked up a loan of $10 Mn from Innoven Capital.
Blinkit has had to cut back after reportedly splurging INR 600 Cr on expanding its business last year between November and February. The deep discounting tactics backfired and the startup cut costs and corners to reduce its cash burn by firing employees.
February 23 | OkCredit Lays Off 35% Of Workforce To Change Business Model
Bengaluru-based bookkeeping startup OkCredit laid off 40 employees or around 35% of its total workforce. Most of these layoffs were from the backend, tech and engineering teams.
The Tiger Global and Lightening-backed startup said that it is focusing on its fintech initiatives and strengthening its growth channels, which has resulted in the startup laying off the said employees. OkCredit said that the laid off employees were being supported by outplacement services and extended medical insurance.
In FY21, the startup spent INR 114.6 Cr, to earn a mere INR 3.79 Lakh in sales revenue, forming another possible reason for the layoffs.
February 21 | Lido Lays Off 150 Employees To Cut Costs
Edtech startup Lido’s founder Sahil Sheth, during a virtual town hall, told the company employees that they were in a financial crunch. Following this, the company asked 150+ employees to submit their resignation as it looked to raise funds or possible acquisition of Lido.
The company assured these employees that they would be paid the pending salaries for January 2022 and the 1st week of February 2022 within ’30 to 90 days’, but to date, their salaries are pending, which has prompted them to take the fight to social media.
Since its launch in 2019, Lido Learning has raised close to $24 Mn in funding. The layoff had come only six months after it raised $10 Mn from Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures.
This is a running article. We will add as new information comes in.
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Last updated on 2nd March, 23:00 IST.