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Accel-Backed Breathe Well-being Lays Off 50 Employees


The startup had let go of employees as it was unable to secure new round of funding and was high on losses

The startup had even rescinded offers to new joinees

According to Inc42 Layoffs Tracker, Indian startups (including Breathe Well-being) have laid off around 9,568 employees in 2022

Gurugram-based Breathe Well-being became the latest startup and second healthtech startup to join the growing lists of Indian startups who have laid off its employees during this economic downturn. The healthtech startup that offers diabetes reversal solutions to its customers has laid off around 50 employees or almost 30% of its workforce in the past couple of weeks. 

According to sources, the startup had to let go of its employees to cut costs as it was running in losses and was unable to secure a new round of funding. The startup had let go of employees from sales, operations, tech, talent acquisitions, among other teams. Impacted employees were offered severance packages based on their notice period. However, it has to be highlighted that the most of the impacted employees were in their probationary period. 

As per sources, the startup had been aggressively hiring until April with an anticipation of a new round of funding. It has further rescinded offers who were supposed to join, leaving them in lurch for a job.

Email and messages sent to the company elicit no response while publishing the story. The story will be updated as and when we get a response.

The development has come almost 10 months after it raised $5.5 Mn in its Series A funding round. The round was led by Accel and saw participation from 3one4 Capital, General Catalysts, and Tiger Global’s MD Scott Shleifer. The startup was initially backed by Y Combinator. 

Breathe Well-being was founded by former ClassHop founders – Rohan Verma and Aditya Kaicker in 2020 and had also raised $1 Mn in its Pre-Series A round. Back then, the round was led by 3one4 Capital. 

A quick glance at the financials of the startup further shows that the startup has been burning cash without gaining enough business. As per FY21, the startup had incurred a total loss of INR 2.27 Cr, while generating sales worth INR 39.2 Lakh. Its expenses during the same period was INR 2.66 Cr, with employee benefit expenses costing INR 1.66 Cr. 

Layoffs Looms Indian Startups

Breathe Well-being has now become the 24th Indian startup to have laid off its employees in 2022. According to Inc42’s layoff tracker, in 2022 alone, Indian startups had laid off around 9,568 employees (including Breathe Well-being). This employee count includes both on roll and off role employees. 

The layoffs for this year started with edtech startup Lido, which was on the verge of shutting down its operations. The trend was quickly followed by edtech heavy giants such as Vedantu, and Unacademy.  

Apart from edtech, the healthtech sector is another segment that has been noticing layoffs or acquisitions. Inc42 first reported on MFine laying off around 600 employees as it was running high on losses. The startup which had secured over $90 Mn in funding was valued between $400 Mn – $500 Mn. Later on, Pristyn Healthcare, a healthtech unicorn, even acquired Lybrate, another telemedicine healthtech startup which hadn’t secured funding since 2017. 



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