Layoffs in 2023: a list of Indian startups & tech companies that have cut jobs

A slowdown in consumer demand post the Covid-19 years and uncertain macroeconomic conditions triggered mass layoffs across major US tech firms over the past few months. This included massive retrenchment at Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet, among many others.

Indian startups, too, have been impacted over the last six months as they struggle to raise funds in a tough global environment.

We reported on December 30 that fund-starved startups fired nearly 18,000 in 2022, according to data compiled by executive search firm Longhouse Consulting that was shared exclusively with ET.

Also Read: Layoffs in 2023: full list of companies that have announced job cuts amid economic downturn

According to data from Tracxn, the subdued startup fundraising activity continued in the first month of the new year with Indian startups raising $1.18 billion in January, down 75% compared to the same period last year. January saw 122 funding rounds compared to 331 rounds during the same period last year.

Here is a list of major Indian companies that have announced layoffs:

Discover the stories of your interest

Byju’s: India’s most valuable startup Byju’s laid off 1,000 employees earlier this week as the edtech firm tries to steer itself on the path to profitability. Those laid off included several senior roles in verticals such as strategy, technology, and product, people aware of the matter told ET. One of the sources said that many senior vice presidents drawing salaries of Rs 1 crore and above lost their jobs. This is not the first time that Byju’s has sacked employees. In October last year, it fired about 5% of its workforce or 2,500 employees. With the current round of layoffs, the total number of people sacked by the firm is 3,500. Last year, it said it would cut – or “rationalise” – about 5% of its 50,000-strong workforce across departments such as product, content, media and technology in a phased manner. Earlier in 2022, the company fired at least 600 people from group firms such as Toppr and WhiteHat Jr.

Vedantu: Vedantu has laid off another 385 employees in its fourth round of layoffs this year, as the pressure to cut costs and turn profitable mounts on Indian edtech firms. The company had previously laid off 100-full time employees from its sales team in July and another 624 full-time and contractual employees in two batches in May.

Unacademy: Edtech startup Unacademy cut as many as 350 jobs amid a push to reduce costs and turn in a profit, in yet another round of layoffs. The edtech company had previously fired around 1,000 contractual and full-time employees.

Startup layoffsETtech

FrontRow: FrontRow, which is focused on non-academic learning, has sacked 130 employees (almost 75% of its workforce), across marketing, sales, engineering, and product, as startups in the online education sector relook at cost structures. FrontRow had laid off close to 145 full-time and contractual employees in May this year.

Dealshare: Ecommerce firm Dealshare has laid off around 100 employees, or over 6% of its 1,500-strong workforce. Confirming the development, Dealshare founder Sourjyendu Medda said the decision is linked to its business plan for the next financial year with focus on profitability.

GoMechanic: The car servicing startup has announced that it will lay off 70% of its employees even as SoftBank and Khazanah pulled out from a funding deal in the Sequoia-backed startup. One of the founders, Amit Bhasin, confessed to financial lapses at the company even as the board has initiated an audit of the startup as it struggles to stay afloat.

MohallaTech: MohallaTech, the parent firm of vernacular social media platform ShareChat and short-video app Moj, laid off around 20% of its staff or over 500 employees in a fresh round of layoffs.

Swiggy: Swiggy will sack 380 employees, CEO Sriharsha Majety told employees in an internal note. Majety said the company’s food delivery business has been growing more slowly than expected. He also said that the company overhired over the past two years due to “a case of poor judgement” on his part.

Dunzo: Reliance Retail-backed Dunzo has laid off about 3% of its employees last week and the quick commerce platform for groceries and other essentials is cutting costs elsewhere as well.

Ola: Ride-hailing and electric vehicle company Ola has laid off about 130-200 employees in a fresh round of layoffs at the SoftBank-backed mobility firm. The layoffs have happened across the ride-hailing, electric vehicle and fintech businesses. In September, the company rescinded the retrenchment of about 200 engineers.

Cashfree: Online payments service provider Cashfree laid off around 100 employees as it looked to reduce costs and cash burn. The Bengaluru-based fintech startup, backed by YCombinator and Apis Partners, sacked employees across sales and merchant onboarding earlier this week.

Layoffs startupsETtech

Cars24: Used car marketplace Cars24 fired more than 600 employees in May last year, with layoffs put in place across departments and roles. This is over 6% of its total headcount of about 9,000 people. “This is business as usual performance-linked exits that happen every year,” the company backed by Japan’s SoftBank and Alpha Wave Global had said.

Oyo: Hospitality chain Oyo in December 2022 said it was undertaking downsizing of staff and is letting go of 600 employees from its employee base of 3,700. However, the company said it will also go for hiring fresh staff. The company said it is making ‘wide-ranging’ changes in its organizational structure.

Meesho: E-commerce firm Meesho laid off 150 employees in April last year from its grocery business, which it recently restructured and rebranded as Meesho Superstore from Farmiso earlier. The company said last week it would integrate the grocery vertical into its main app, leading to talks of redundancies within the firm.

Udaan: Business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce marketplace Udaan retrenched 300-350 on-roll employees and a significant chunk of its contract workforce in November 2022, for a total layoff count to over 1,000 people, according to sources aware of the matter. This was the second round of layoffs for the Lightspeed Venture Partners-backed company after it laid off 180-200 employees, or 5% of its workforce, in June 2022.

WazirX: Crypto exchange WazirX reportedly laid off 40% of its total workforce in October 2022, according to CoinDesk. A total of 50 to 70 employees of the 150 workers at the exchange were asked to go, The laid-off employees were informed they would be paid for 45 days and that they would no longer be needed to report for work. “The crypto market has been in the grip of a bear market because of the current global economic slowdown,” WazirX was quoted as saying in a statement.

Mfine: Digital health platform Mfine laid off around 500 employees in May 2022. According to media reports, the job cut accounted for about half the workforce at the Bengaluru-based company that was hiring employees until April. Mfine was founded in December 2017 by former Myntra executives Ashutosh Lawania and Prasad Kompalli, who were later joined by Narayanan and Arjun Choudhary.

(Graphics and illustrations by Rahul Awasthi)

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