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Exclusive: E-commerce roll up startup UpScalio joins layoffs spree


E-commerce roll-up company UpScalio is firing 40% of its employees, according to two people aware of the development. This will be the first firing in any Thrasio-style startup in India.

“Around 60 employees have been asked to leave,” said one of the sources on the condition of anonymity. “The layoff was done in December [itself].”

UpScalio has confirmed the development to Entrackr, but said only 15% of their staff were laid off in December. In September, UpScalio claimed to have an employee count of 200, which includes an in-house customer experience team of 40 people.

Ankur Singh, head of people and culture at UpScalio told Entrackr that they set a “high bar on performance at UpScalio.” And while they have been “able to grow aggressively” they keep an “eye on profitability.” “As part of our standard annual employee appraisal process, in December, we let go of 15% of our staff,” added Singh.

UpScalio had raised $15 million in its pre-Series B round led by UAE-based Gulf Islamic Investments (GII) in March this year. In August 2021, it had already scooped up $42.5 million in its Series A round, taking the total funding raised till date to nearly $60 million.

Founded in April 2021 by Gautam Kshatriya, Saaim Khan, and Nitin Agarwal, UpScalio acquires majority stakes in high growth online-first brands and helps them scale their business by 5-10X over a period of two to three years, giving founders an exit.

While the company is yet to file FY22 numbers, it targets Rs 350 crore in revenue by FY23. Its competitor Mensa Brands registered Rs 310 crore revenue in FY22 in its first fiscal year. UpScalio also competes with GlobalBees, Goat Brand Labs, Evenflow, 10club, and Powerhouse91.

As per media reports and data compiled by Entrackr, more than 20,000 startup employees were fired in 2022.  While most of the startups fired employees due to funding crunch, market conditions, cost cutting measures and a way to increase their runway, a clutch of them also cited those layoffs as part of their performance appraisal processes.

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