Edtech unicorn Byju’s has laid off nearly 1,500 employees, in another round of layoffs according to media reports.
The layoffs have affected employees from mainly from the design, engineering and production verticals. In October, Byju’s had laid off around 2,500 employees accounting for 5% of its workforce.
Byju’s has fired around 1,500 employees citing cost optimization and outsourcing of operations, four people familiar with the matter, told Mint.
Byju’s founder and chief executive officer Byju Raveendran in October had assured employees that no further layoffs beyond the planned 2,500 staff.
The company is planning to outsource some functions in areas like operations, logistics, customer care, engineering, sales, marketing and communications and other teams, said a source according to Mint.
“The layoffs took place now as the management wanted to get the new partners in place before the exercise of letting go off the current employees,” another person quoted above said.
An employee who has been directly affected that there was no internal communication via email or any other medium regarding the layoffs. The employees were called to office and were directly handed pink slips, reported Mint.
“Right now, the company is communicating with employees mostly through WhatsApp. I am speculating that this is because they want minimal leaks of emails …The company has assured us a severance package after the notice period ends,” the employee further said.
The Tiger Global-backed edtech unicorn’s latest layoff round comes at a time when the startup ecosystem is gripped with continued funding crunch. In the first two weeks of January 2023 alone, at least 1500 startup workforce witnessed job losses.
In the last one year more than 22,000 employees have been laid off.
“This time even vice presidents and top-level managers have been affected. While majority or 95% of the staff laid off is in junior positions, some of the functions heads which were let go formed part of the higher VP or senior level roles…A lot of overhiring had been done over the past couple of years. This had to happen,” said a former employee at Byju’s.
Byju’s had reported a net loss of ₹4,589 crore for FY21 against ₹262 crore a year ago. This move can be seen an attempt to move towards profitability by the company.
Byju’s had said that its revenue for the same period had been adjusted to ₹2,280 crore after 40% was deferred to subsequent years due to adoption of a new revenue recognition.
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