Unacademy Cuts 12% Workforce, Layoffs Top 1,400 In 12 Months
Today's reality is a "contrast from two years ago where we saw unprecedented growth", says Munjal.
Edtech company Unacademy has carried out yet another round of layoffs, cutting about 12% of its workforce, or 380 employees, as the online coaching platform continues to strive for profitability.
"I never thought I would need to send out another message like this, but here I am," Gaurav Munjal, co-founder and chief executive officer of Unacademy, said in an internal memo.
"We have taken every step in the right direction to make our core business profitable, yet it's not enough. We have to go further, we have to go deeper. Unfortunately, this has led me to take another difficult decision. We will be reducing the size of our team by 12% to ensure that we can meet the goals we are chasing in the current realities we face. I did not anticipate I would have to do this again, and I'm very sorry," he wrote.
This is the fourth round of layoffs for the company in the last 12 months. It had cut 600 employees in April 2022, 350 in November last year, alongside other layoffs at its core business and unit Relevel. The firings continue to be a stark reminder of the funding winter that has hit the Indian startup ecosystem. FrontRow, Byju's, and Vedantu have laid off staff over the past year as cost-cutting measures have become commonplace.
Queries emailed to Unacademy did not elicit a response at the time of publishing.
Munjal said in the memo that today's reality is a "contrast from two years ago where we saw unprecedented growth because of the accelerated adoption of online learning".
"Today, the global economy is enduring a recession, funding is scarce and running a profitable business is key," he wrote. "We have to adapt to these changes, build and operate in a much leaner manner so we can truly create value for our users and shareholders."
In a memo in July 2022, Munjal had said even though Unacademy has Rs 2,800 crore in the bank, "we are not efficient at all". "We spend crores on travel for employees and educators. Sometimes it is needed, sometimes it is not. There are a lot of unnecessary expenses that we do. We must cut all these expenses. We have a strong core business. We must turn profitable asap."
He had also committed to no firings as he decided to cut down on expenditures in July earlier this year. "I want to apologise to everyone sincerely since we made a commitment of no layoffs in the organisation but the market challenges have forced us to reevaluate our decisions. Funding has significantly slowed down, and a large portion of our core business has moved offline," he had said.
Yet, the firings continue to be a stark reminder of the funding winter that has hit the Indian startup ecosystem. FrontRow, Byju's, and Vedantu have laid off staff over the past year as cost-cutting measures have become commonplace.