upGrad Campus, a video learning platform for online education, has laid off nearly 30% of its total workforce, according to sources.
upGrad Campus is the rebranded avatar of Impartus, which was acquired by Ronnie Screwvala-backed upGrad in March 2021 for Rs 150 crore. Following the acquisition, Impartus co-founder Amit Mahensaria had taken over the role of the chief operating officer at upGrad Campus, which operated independently as a subsidiary.
Indian Express first reported the development. Entrackr has reached out to upGrad and Mahensaria for a comment.
This is also the second layoff at a company bought by upGrad. In January, Harappa Education, which was acquired by upGrad in July 2022 for Rs 300 crore, laid off 30% of the workforce, affecting nearly 60 employees.
The layoffs come amid drying up VC funding in the startup ecosystem, affecting late-stage companies in particular. To tackle what’s being dubbed ‘funding winter’ and pivot to the profitability path, many startups have resorted to layoffs among other measures.
Edtech companies, which saw a meteoric rise in 2020 and 2021 due to pandemic-led stay-home norms, appear to have been affected severely. According to estimates, around 12,000 startup employees were fired in 2022 and edtech accounted for nearly 30%. In February, edtech decacorn Byju’s sacked more than 1,000 employees in a second round of mass layoffs within a span of six months. Earlier in October 2022, the firm had terminated 5% of its workforce, affecting nearly 2,500 people.
As far as upGrad goes, the edtech unicorn managed to grow its scale two-fold to nearly Rs 679 crore in FY22. The company’s losses, however, spiked 3X to Rs 627 crore in FY22 from Rs 211 crore in the preceding fiscal year (FY21). The high burn impacted cash outflows which expanded 4.2X to Rs 590 crore whereas ROCE and EBITDA margins worsened to -308% and -85% in FY22. On a unit level, the company spent Rs 1.91 to earn a single rupee in FY22.