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Udaan lays off nearly 1,000 contract staff to conserve capital


As the economy falters due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, millions of jobs across sectors are on the line. And startups – be it early stage, growth stage, or even the poster boys – are now facing the brunt. 

Joining the list of companies who have either fired or furloughed employees or slashed their salaries in the past one month is B2B e-commerce platform Udaan which, according to a news report, has laid off around 1000 contract staff to conserve capital.

Some media reports claim that the layoff is in the range of 3,000-3,500.

Apart from Udaan’s marketplace model and providing working capital loans to the sellers on its platform, the company also offers logistics services, a sector that has taken a big hit during the nationwide lockdown.

The company has handed pink slips to half of its ground staff which majorly includes delivery executives and the sales force. However, none of the on roll employees have been asked to leave so far. 

“Driven by economies of doing business in a sustainable manner, we are rightsizing and rationalising some of our teams on the ground in this unprecedented situation of coronavirus,” Business Insider quoted the company statement as saying. 

As the retail industry is under stress and the company is looking to conserve capital, it sent individual emails to the impacted employees on Friday morning asking them to leave, the report added.

Entrackr has also sent queries to Udaan but didn’t elicit any immediate response. We will update the post as and when the company responds.

The development comes a month after Udaan had secured 30 million from its Singapore-based parent entity. The company has been raising back to back funding rounds with jumps in its valuation. It had also gathered a large Series D funding round worth $585 million in October 2019 at a valuation of $2.8 billion. 

Over the past four weeks, a clutch of startups have either fired their employees or slashed their salaries. The list includes Oyo,  Ixigo, Travel Triangle, BlackBuck, Bounce, Acko, Fab Hotels, InMobi and Treebo. Entrackr had exclusively reported about the layoffs at Meesho.

Recently, several startup founders, lobby groups and venture capitalists had also reached out to the government asking for a relief package for startups to help with paying employee salaries along with interest-free loans, rent waiver and tax benefits. 

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