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Udaan fires 300-350 employees


B2B e-commerce startup Udaan is laying off 300–350 employees in a fresh round of layoffs, sources in the company told Entrackr. Word of impending layoffs was first reported by The Morning Context on Friday morning. This follows a layoff round in June of 180 employees. The company’s headcount now stands north of 3,000 people.

The company doesn’t seem to have frozen hiring, however: thirteen job postings remain open, with the most recent ones having been put up on the company’s site as recently as October 25.

These layoffs also came barely two weeks after the company raised $120 million in debt and convertible notes, with annual cumulative investments of $350 million; Microsoft participated in one of the rounds.

In a statement provided to Entrackr, Udaan indicated that these layoffs weren’t a sign of financial desperation, but rather due to an “efficiency enhancement drive” that made some roles redundant. “As a responsible organisation, we are working towards providing all requisite support to the impacted employees,” said an Udaan spokesperson, without confirming the number of impacted employees.

Udaan has not disclosed financials for FY22 yet, but as of FY21, the company had grown its operating revenues sixfold to Rs 5,919 crore, even as its losses remained largely the same.

“We will continue to invest to build Udaan as a professionally run organisation with scale, capabilities, and resilience that can leverage the huge opportunity that kirana commerce offers, while empowering the small businesses of Bharat,” the spokesperson said.

The statement did not rule out further layoffs, or at the very least, further cost-cutting measures. The company “will continue to refine our cost structures and models,” the spokesperson said.

Layoffs are rippling across Indian startups as they buckle up for dire financial conditions, and a possible drop-off in investments, even as they use their war chests to expand aggressively. The SaaS firm Chargebee laid off 140 employees last month, the company told Entrackr. The Masterclass-esque ed-tech startup FrontRow also laid off 75% of its entire workforce the same month.

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