Ed-tech firms account for most start-up layoffs in India in the current fiscal

Parvathi Benu | Updated on: Sep 20, 2022

More than 40 per cent of the start-up employees laid off were from ed-tech firms

The layoff season isn’t over yet. In the ongoing financial year, at least five start-ups have handed pink slips to their employees and closed operations, according to data compiled by layoff tracker, layoffs.fyi. Incidentally, four out of five of these companies are ed-tech start-ups -- Lido Learning, SuperLearn, Crejo.Fun and Udayy.

Of the 39 tech start-up layoff events that occurred between April 1 and September 15, ed-tech accounted for more than a third, across 11 companies. Four of them, Vedantu, Unacademy, LEAD and Eruditus are unicorns, while Toppr and Whitehat Jr have been acquired by decacorn BYJU’s.

Ed-tech start-ups also account for more than 40 per cent of the start-up employees laid off in India in FY23, until September 15. Of them, Eruditus is the most funded company, having raised a whopping $1,200 million in total, according to layoffs.fyi.

After ed-tech, the retail sector saw the most lay-off events (six events), followed by transportation (five). However, the transportation sector laid off 1,640 people, while the retail sector fired 821 people.

The big jump in firing in transportation is led by Ola, which fired 1,000 people in one go, at the end of July. Unacademy has also fired 1,000 people this year, according to the tracker. Ola says the lay-offs are due to “the company centralising operations and undertaking a restructuring exercise to minimise redundancy and build a strong lateral structure that strengthens relevant roles and functions.” Unacademy did not comment. 

The tracker says that Bright Money, Yojak and Trell let go of half their workforce in this fiscal, and MFine fired 75 per cent of its employees. 

June saw the highest number of start-up layoff events — 17. July and August saw 10 events cumulatively.

​​Global scene

Since April 1, 2022, 80,089 start-up employees have lost their jobs, across 624 companies. The real number could be higher since a lot of companies haven’t disclosed the exact numbers of those shown the door. India accounts for 10.4 per cent of these layoffs. Globally, the fintech industry saw the most lay-off events, 80, followed by the healthcare sector, which saw 67 lay-off events.

Published on September 20, 2022
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