TinyOwl fires staff, shrinks operations to turn profitable
Start-up says it would be scaling back nationally, and continue to operate in all six cities where it is currently present
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Mumbai: TinyOwl, the online food ordering start-up that is going through restructuring as it battles a cash crunch, on Tuesday cut jobs as part of an organizational restructuring.
In an official statement, the company said that it has undergone an organizational restructuring to increase its efficiency and productivity, involving eliminations of certain positions from the company, as part of this process.
The start-up promoted by Tinyowl Technology Pvt. Ltd, said it would be scaling back nationally, and continue to operate in all six cities where it is currently present. A new model will be initially tested in Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Earlier in the day, the company shut its Pune office and fired all 30 employees there. Three employees at the Pune office, who did not want to be identified, said the company plans to close its offices in Hyderabad, Delhi and Chennai as well, and limit itself to Mumbai and Bengaluru.
The employees also said TinyOwl may lay off 100 more employees, after it fired 200 employees in September.
“The current strategic focus for us as a company is to build TinyOwl as a sustainable, profitable and scalable business, working towards the ‘big dream’. With the current take rate being 45-60, we are looking at a more commensurate operational structure,” Harshvardhan Mandad, the company’s co-founder said in a statement.
The company on 2 November cancelled a town hall meeting to discuss fund-raising and the way forward. TinyOwl has around 200 employees in Mumbai.
“Everything was running smoothly until mid-September, when one of the founders came to the office and said that there is a huge crunch and we cannot sustain so many employees... They fired 15 employees then,” said one employee from the Pune team.
TinyOwl was founded in 2014 by Mandad, Gaurav Choudhary, Saurabh Goyal, Shikhar Paliwal and Tanuj Khandelwal.
In August, a person directly involved in the fundraising process confirmed that the company was close to raising $50 million.
Mint had reported that the company was looking at layoffs due to delays in closing its next round of funding. The layoffs come four days after TinyOwl raised only Rs.50 crore from existing investors Matrix Partners and Sequoia Capital.
As of September, the company processed 10,000 orders a day. It works with around 150 chefs and registered 500 orders a day with the average transaction value being Rs.25.
“They are playing with our careers. They hired and put in place a Pune team in March and now they are asking us to resign and are giving us no information on notice period, compensation and other exit formalities,” said one of the employees cited above.
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