After WhiteHat, Toppr Cuts Staff As Layoffs At Byju's Group Firms Continue
“Less than 500 employees” have been laid off from across Byju’s group companies WhiteHat Jr and Toppr, a Byju’s spokesperson says.
After WhiteHat Jr, another Byju’s-acquired edtech firm Toppr has laid off employees, joining a host of Indian startups that have cut workforce to cut costs as venture capitalists and founders see signs of liquidity tightening.
“Less than 500 employees” have been laid off from across Byju’s group companies WhiteHat Jr and Toppr, a Byju’s spokesperson told BQ Prime. That, the spokesperson said, includes the layoffs at WhiteHat Jr, but didn’t disclose the actual number of employees fired from Toppr.
BQ Prime had reported that WhiteHat Jr has laid off 300 employees.
Byju’s is not alone. Startups such as Meesho, Trell, Rupeek, Blinkit, Cars24 and Mobile Premier League, too, have fired employees. Crypto platform Coinbase cut about 8% of its Indian staff.
50-year-old venture capital firm Sequoia Capital had forecasted a tough time ahead. “Winning in the years ahead is going to depend on making hard, decisive choices—confronting uncomfortable challenges that may have been masked during the exuberance and distortions of free capital over the past two years.”
That was evident in Byju’s statement that said, “to recalibrate our business priorities and accelerate our long-term growth, we are optimising our teams across our group companies”.
The startup, however, “strongly” denied reports of about 2,500 employees being laid off.
According to market research firm CB Insights, the Byju Raveendran-led firm is valued at $22 billion (roughly Rs 1.7 lakh crore), making it the most valuable startup in India and 11th in the world.
Byju’s is said to have offered to buy 2U Inc. in a cash deal that values the U.S.-listed edtech company at more than $1 billion (Rs 7,800 crore), Bloomberg reported citing a person familiar with the matter.
The Bengaluru-based edtech startup was also pushing back payments for an about $1-billion acquisition struck last year for Aakash Educational Services, an offline coaching giant, Bloomberg reported.