Cash-strapped quick commerce start-up Dunzo has once again deferred the salary payment for the months of June and July to January-February 2024.

The hyperlocal delivery firm said it will pay an interest of 12 per cent per annum on the service period. The Bengaluru-based firm, in an email to employees, said

Former employees will only receive their full and final (F&F) settlement in January or February of 2024. It will also include August and September salaries for the days served by the employees.

“We are working towards ensuring all pending salaries are paid at the earliest. However, we regret to inform you that given the present business situation, the revised timelines by which we will clear pending dues, including salaries for the months of June and July, if any, is January - February 2024,” the email said.

The company had first held back a portion of salaries from June and July and had initially promised that all dues would be cleared on July 20. It missed that deadline and has been pushing the date.

The company had earlier said that employees who were laid off would be paid their outstanding salaries for June and July by the first week of October.

For the August salary, Dunzo had tied up with payroll financing firm OneTap.

Top execs exit

This comes at a time when the company is reeling under two high-profile exits. Co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) of Dunzo, Mukund Jha, is set to exit the firm, according to sources.

However, the company has denied that Mukund Jha is leaving.

“Mukund remains an integral part of Dunzo’s leadership team. While we are restructuring the organisation, with new leaders driving key mandates, Mukund will continue to be an important part of the strategic leadership team, guiding and directing Dunzo’s future roadmap,” said a Dunzo spokesperson.

This comes close on the heels of the exit of co-founder Dalvir Suri. He was involved in the company’s business-to-business delivery arm, Dunzo Merchant Services (DMS).

“Dalvir has been instrumental in building out every new line of business at Dunzo. He has been the key zero to one person from the founding team that just gets things Dun. He has been meaning to take a break for sometime now – and with 6+ years spent building Dunzo, he plans to move forward to pursuing new journeys,” said Dunzo co-founder and CEO Kabeer Biswas.

Conserving cash

The start-up has drastically reduced the scale of its quick commerce operations to conserve cash over the past year. It now doesn’t run its own dark stores but offers services through third-party grocery stores.

Dunzo is also in the midst of a fundraise, lining up $25-30 million. The company has shut down dark stores. It has planned to give up its office space in Bengaluru and even fired hundreds of employees across three rounds of lay-offs.

Since 2015, Dunzo has raised close to $500 million from Reliance, Google, Lightrock, Lightbox, Blume Ventures and several others. Reliance is the largest shareholder with a 25.8 per cent stake in the company, according to Tracxn.