The funding winter, which has been specially severe for India’s high profile unicorns, has forced multiple startups to trim their workforce and accelerate move towards profitability. Now Byju’s, the Edtech “decacorn” which laid off in thousands last year, has reportedly laid off even more people last’s Thursday. According to several media reports citing sources, Byju’s is laying off employees across its engineering, sales, logistics, marketing, and communications verticals. Around 300 employees have been given the boot in the fresh bout of layoffs, while sources claim that the strength of the logistics team has shrunk by 50% since October.
Media reports have differed regarding the exact number of impacted employees in the fresh round of layoffs, but the general consensus puts the number of laid-off employees within the 900-1200 range, and Byju’s attributed its decision to cost optimization and the outsourcing of operations. The impacted employees join the 2500 employees that the edtech decacorn had eliminated last year – in October, to be precise – which amounted to around 5% of its workforce.
This also comes after Byju’s co-founder and CEO Byju Raveendran had announced (multiple times) that the country’s most valued startup would not enact further rounds of layoffs after the one in December. In internal emails to employees, Raveendran informed that the edtech giant would prioritize “re-hiring the laid-off employees” for ‘newly created relevant roles.’”
“We had been told to keep a list of employees ranked as per performance ready last week and since Feb 1st the company started notifying people about the layoff,” said an employee in a managerial position in content at Byju’s. What is interesting is that the impacted employees have not been informed via official emails – instead, managers and the HR department have been reaching out to them via messages on WhatsApp and meetings. Moneycontrol further reported that the decacorn is forcing employees to resign to spare them the stain of being laid off (something that sticks out in portfolios). Once the notice period ends, they will be provided with a severance package.