VerSe Innovation, the parent company of vernacular news aggregator Dailyhunt and maker of short video entertainment app Josh, has laid off 150 employees or 5% of its workforce citing the current economic climate.
With this move, the company has joined a clutch of growth-stage companies that have fired employees after raising billions of dollars in the past 12 months. The Bengaluru-based company scooped up nearly $1,500 million or $1.5 billion since December 2020 including a $805 million round at a valuation of $5 billion in April this year.
“..considering the long-term viability of the business and our people, we have taken steps to implement our regular bi-annual performance management cycle and made performance & business considerations to streamline our costs and our teams,” said Dailyhunt in a statement.
Besides raising top dollar, Dailyhunt’s parent also became one of the top loss-making startups in FY22. As per Fintrackr’s analysis, the company’s losses spiked over 3X and crossed Rs 2,500 crore (over $300 million) in FY22. Its operating revenue grew 45% to Rs 965 crore (~$120 million) during the same duration.
In a statement to Entrackr, Dailyhunt’s spokesperson said that a big portion of the funding was deployed towards marketing and creating an ecosystem to enable a creator economy for its Josh app.
Dailyhunt claims to serve over 350 million users every month (MAU) whereas the short video app Josh claims to have 139 million monthly active users as of April this year. In the news aggregation and hyper-local video business, Dailyhunt competes with Inshorts while Josh competes with ShareChat’s Moj, MX TakaTak, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels among others in the short video entertainment space.
Byju’s, Udaan, Unacademy, ChargeBee are some of the growth-stage startups that have resorted to layoffs amid funding winter. Edtech unicorn Byju’s announced plans to lay off 2,500 employees. According to a Morning Context report, the firm is likely to lay off over 12,000 staff in the next year. Byju’s also raised more than $1 billion in 2022. Earlier this month, B2B e-commerce platform Udaan and edtech company Unacademy fired 300-350 employees each in their second round of layoff whereas SaaS unicorn ChargeBee sacked 140 employees. Overall, Indian startups have laid off more than 16,000 employees as per data compiled by Fintrackr and several media reports.