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Exclusive: Byju’s-owned Toppr set to lay off over 300 employees


Edtech startup Toppr, which was acquired by Byju’s in July 2021, is set to fire more than 300 employees, three people aware of the development told Entrackr. With this, the company has joined more than half a dozen edtech companies that have reduced their workforce significantly in the past few months.

This also comes at a time when Byju’s-owned WhiteHat jr is already in the news for firing over 300 staff members.

According to sources, Toppr is laying off over 300 people with immediate effect. The number can go up to 500. “Layoffs and restructuring are happening in most of the startups that were acquired by Byju’s,” said one of the sources.

Entrackr has reached out to Toppr for comment. We will update the story as and when the company responds.

Founded by Zishan Hayath and Hemanth Goteti in 2013, Toppr offers a curated learning medium for various school boards and competitive examinations. It was acquired by Byju Raveendran-led company in a deal worth around $150 million. Entrackr was the first to report the development of Toppr’s acquisition by Byju’s.

Unlike several edtech startups which prospered during the fiscal years hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Toppr couldn’t manage to grow. This is evident from the sharp decline in the company’s scale. Toppr’s operating revenue shrank 40% to Rs 50.6 crore as compared to Rs 84.32 crore in FY20. Meanwhile, the company’s annual losses grew by 13.1% to Rs 128.3 crore in FY21.

While the slowdown in funding activities is impacting startups across sectors, the edtech space is seeing more layoffs as compared to others. In the past few months, Vedantu had laid off about 625 employees whereas Unacademy also given pink slips to over 1000 employees. Ronnie Screwvala-backed Lido and Alpha Wave-backed Udayy shut down their operations due to lack of funds and a viable business model.

2021 had turned out to be the best year for edtech companies which mopped up back-to-back rounds at skyrocketing valuation. However, the space is set for a downturn and companies are forced to pause new initiatives and shut down loss-making verticals. 

Tiger Global-backed Unacademy dropped its K-12 ambition as the company didn’t manage to figure out a sustainable model. The leading edtech companies including Byju’s, Unacademy and Vedantu are also setting up their offline learning centres. PhysicsWallah, which recently turned unicorn, also followed the suit and forayed into offline learning.

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