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11,000 and up – this is how bad start-up jobs are after Ola, Byju’s and 22 others cut costs

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  • Indian startups have already laid off just over 11,000 people in the past six months.
  • Things could get worse, as experts expect 60,000 jobseekers to lose their jobs this year.
  • Ecommerce companies led the way in the layoff season, while edtech was in second place.

Indian startups have laid off just over 11,000 in the past six months as capital flow is expected to remain dry for the next 18-24 months. Things could get worse in the near future, as experts predict 60,000 job-starters could lose their jobs this year.

A back-of-the-envelope calculation conducted by https://londonbusinessblog.com/ India found that 25 startups in the country have laid off 11,615 people since January this year. About 10 of these startups were in the ecommerce space and seven were from edtech.

Seven unicorn startups — Ola, Blinkit, Unacademy, Vedantu, Cars24 and Mobile Premier League (MPL) — were also part of the shooting list. Notably, Blinkit (formerly known as Grofers) was a unicorn when the layoffs were made, but the company lost its $1 billion valuation during its acquisition of Zomato.

To start Sector laid off Rode
ola E-commerce 2.100 restructuring
blinkit E-commerce 1600 Cost reduction
Whitehat Jr Edtech 1,300 Cost savings, employees asked to resign if they can’t go back to the office
learn lido Edtech 1200 Financial restrictions
Unacademy Edtech 925 Cost reduction
Vedantu Edtech 624 Cost reduction
Cars24 E-commerce 600 Cost reduction
Mfine health technology 600 Financial restrictions
trellis E-commerce 400 Cost reduction
top price Edtech 300 Cost reduction
FarEye SaaS 250 restructuring
rupee fintech 200 Cost reduction
furlenco E-commerce 200 Cost reduction
City shopping center E-commerce 191 Cost reduction
Udaan B2B e-commerce 180 Cost reduction
Meesho E-commerce 150 restructuring
Yaari E-commerce 150 Financial restrictions
First row Edtech 145 Cost reduction
MPL Gaming 100 restructuring
Udayy Edtech 100 Shut down
Aqgromalin Agritech 80 Financial restrictions
Nova fintech 70 restructuring
Yojak B2B e-commerce 60 restructuring
Breathe well-being health technology 50 Financial restrictions
OkCredit fintech 40 Cost reduction
Total 11,615

Source: Media Releases, Company Announcements

One in five start-up workers laid off this year worked for Ola

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One fifth of the total number of affected workers was associated with ride-hailing giant Ola.

In April 2022, Olac laid off 2,100 contract workers brought on board to man the company’s dark shop. It decided to massively restructure its high-speed trading company Ola Dash, which led to these layoffs. It closed Ola Dash last week, along with used car division Ola Cars. The number of workers affected by these closures has not yet been disclosed.

Blinkit, which was acquired by Zomato last week, also laid 1,600 in March. The world’s most highly regarded edtech company Byju’s also cut 600 jobs at WhiteHat Jr and Toppr. Whitehat Jr also asked 1,000 employees to resign if they can’t go back to the office.

Things are not as rosy for the Indian startup ecosystem as they were last year. The segment that thrived during the pandemic is now hardest hit by the war between Russia and Ukraine, which led to inflation and liquidity shortages, which eroded startups’ ability to raise capital. The investors are becoming more selective and tighter.

“Currently, the external environment is tough. War in Europe, looming recession fears and Fed rate hikes have led to inflationary pressures with a massive correction in equities worldwide and also in India. Given this environment, capital will be scarce in the coming quarters,” said Vamsi Krishna, chief executive officer and co-founder of Vedantu.

Disclaimer: The previous version of the article stated that 11,315 startups have been laid off this year. The article has been updated to reflect 600 employees who have been laid off by Byju’s.

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