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Bounce co-founder Vivekananda Hallekere
Bounce co-founder Vivekananda Hallekere

Bounce to lay off 22% employees

Outgoing employees will be paid pending salaries, including the entire amount that was deferred in April

Bike-sharing startup Bounce said it is laying off around 130 employees, or around 22% of its total workforce, citing uncertainty for businesses and startups caused by the covid-19 outbreak.

Bounce co-founder Vivekananda Hallekere said in a blog that the decision was taken after the startup was forced to suspended several planned business lines, products and projects because of “changes in the external environment".

The layoffs come around two months after the mobility startup announced temporary 20-60% pay cuts for staff, and a 100% pay cut for the leadership team.

Outgoing employees will be paid pending salaries, including the entire amount that was deferred in April, the startup said in its blog post. All leaving employees will be given a severance of three months’ salary, as per what they earned before the salary cuts.

Apart from pending salaries, employees who were laid off will also receive three months’ additional severance pay and health insurance until the end of the year. Employees who hold Esops can also redeem their stock options on a pro-rata basis.

“This decision is purely an outcome of a change in our business priorities and does not either reflect the unparalleled capability, performance, or dedication of any member of our team," Hallekere added in his blog.

The startup has raised $200 million so far from prominent investors including Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s venture capital fund B Capital Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners India, Chiratae Partners, Omidyar Network, Vistra ITCL, SCI Investments and Qualcomm Ventures.

It is valued at more than $500 million, making it the biggest company in terms of valuation in the mobility segment in India.

Bounce operates a fleet of more than 23,000 two-wheelers in 35 cities, offering both dockless-bike sharing and long-term rentals.

The startup claims to have completed over 25 million rides in fewer than 18 months in Bengaluru alone.

Bounce’s rival VOGO, which is backed by Sequoia and Ola also let go of employees across technology and customer care operations in April after many contracts expired and ridership dipped.

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