Highlights

  • Edtech startup Lido had laid off close to 200 employees
  • OkCredit has laid off approximately 35-40 workers
  • Trell fired around 40-50% of its workforce

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Startups Shrink: From unicorns to layoffs, the firing squad is here

From a funding boom to mass layoffs, a look at what has led to around 5,700 employees being rendered jobless

The unicorn story is changing from hiring to firing. India's startup ecosystem seems to be shrinking as new market realities have set in. It may have been Better.com's firing debacle on Zoom that went viral but now the story is hitting home with local startups joining the firing squad.

Meesho, the e-commerce platform has laid off nearly 150 employees, mostly from its grocery division superstore called Farmiso, as it reportedly plans to merge its online grocery vertical with the main app.

Unacademy- which saw revenues going up around six times in 2021, laid off nearly 600 employees, contractual workers and educators — about 10 per cent of its 6,000-strong workforce across the group.

Also read/watch| Mass layoffs at American companies: Here is who is firing

Furlenco, the furniture rental startup in March laid off nearly 180-200 employees, mostly from the customer support roles and in the same month, another social commerce platform, Trell asked nearly 300 employees to go, which is close to half of its workforce.

In a nightmare for nearly 1,000 employees, homegrown edtech startup Lido Learning which is backed by top entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala, apparently shut operations in February, forcing its workforce to seek help via social media platforms.

Edtech unicorn Vedantu has laid off around 200 employees, a mix of both full-time and contracted employees. And many educators faced the same tune as Byju’s owned and operated coding platform WhiteHatJR reportedly axed 1,800 of its employees to cut costs involved in selling and supporting international markets.

Also read/watch| LIC IPO allotment today: Here is how to check if you got shares

This is not the end. Food and grocery delivery platform Swiggy said it will suspend operations of its subscription-based delivery service, Supr Daily, in five cities, as it is yet to demonstrate profitability and out Swiggy Genie back in the bottle.

As 2020 and 2021 were all about exuberance, record fundraising and unicorns being minted every other week, 2022 has kickstarted on a different road which seems to have of speed bumps along the way.


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