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Indian edtech startups have laid off over 7000 employees as the sector continues to experience upheaval with private capital drying up in the post-pandemic world. Tiger Global-backed Vedantu Innovation Pvt. Ltd became the latest company to let go of employees as edtech firms chase profitability over growth. 

The Bengaluru-based firm, on Wednesday laid off 385 employees or 11.6% of its workforce in the third such layoff this year alone. Vedantu is offering severance as well as placement opportunities to the impacted employees, said a person aware of the development, adding that post-layoffs the company’s workforce stands at over 3300. 

Employees in sales, learning content and human resource verticals were let go in this round of layoffs at the company, the person said.

Overall, the edtech unicorn has let go of hundreds of employees in multiple rounds. The company laid off 424 employees in May while it sacked around 100 workers in August, citing a tough external environment. 

The company’s total workforce, including contractual workers, has dropped from 5,600 in May to about 3300 now, as the company focuses on cutting down expenses and achieving profitability. 

As part of cost-cutting measures, the founding team including CXOs has taken a 50% cut in their pay, the person said. 

Vedantu currently has a runway for about 18 months, the person said, adding that the company is now making efforts to expand its hybrid operations, especially after the acquisition of Deeksha. It acquired a majority stake in the test preparation platform for $40 million in October. 

Founded in 2011 by Vamsi Krishna, Anand Prakash and Pulkit Jain, Vedantu became a unicorn after raising $100 million ( 740 crore) in its Series E round led by Singapore-based impact investor ABC World Asia in September last year. The company also counts Legend Capital, Omidyar Network GGV Capital, WestBridge Capital, Accel and TAL Education, among others as its investors.

Over the past few months, edtech startups, including two of the largest edtech giants Byju’s and Unacademy, have been at the centre of the layoff storm. The return of physical education post-pandemic coupled with a capital crunch is hurting the growth plans of such companies. 

Byju’s is letting go of around 2,500 employees with an aim to become profitable by March 2023. On the other hand, Unacademy fired more than 1200 employees in multiple rounds in 2022. 

Other edtech startups that gave pink slips to their employees include Frontrow, LEAD, Toppr, Byju’s-owned WhiteHat Jr, SuperLearn and Eruditus. Also, the likes of Udayy, Lido Learning and Amazon Academy shut shop in one of the harshest years for the segment, leaving many without jobs.

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