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Another round of layoffs at Unacademy


It’s the end of the financial year 2022-23.

The fiscal year saw several setbacks—the Russia-Ukraine war leading to macroeconomic uncertainty, the ongoing funding winter, and a banking crisis. The year also saw money raised through initial public offerings (IPOs) dwindle by more than half to Rs 52,116 crore.

On a more positive note, FY23 proved India can not just build for itself but also for the world. Defence export this fiscal are set to near Rs 14,000 crore, while export of goods and services is estimated to hit $760 billion.

In other news, recent reports indicate that at least 82 startups in India laid off over 23,000 employees, and the numbers are expected to only rise further. Recently, Sequoia-backed fantasy sports platform FanClash laid off 75% of its workforce—100 employees—just a year after raising $50 million.

But there’s light at the end of the tunnel

Several companies are looking at FY24 as a year of turnaround. Electric mobility startup Yulu expects to see exponential growth of its electric vehicle business over the next year while beauty brand SUGAR Cosmetics plans to double its marketing budget and explore new advertising avenues.

That’s not all! The past year has also been a year of food. A Swiggy analysis shows that Indians gorged on 33 million plates of idlis in the last 12 months. 

In fact, one user from Hyderabad ordered Rs 6 lakh worth of idlis alone. 

Talk about true love.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Another round of layoffs at Unacademy
  • PhonePe turns its back on ZestMoney
  • Making nano drones for students

Here’s your trivia for today: Which city first adopted Daylight Saving Time (DST)? 


Another round of layoffs at Unacademy

Edtech major Unacademy has laid off 12% of its workforce in another round of job cuts to increase the profitability of its primary business. Last November, Unacademy laid off 10% of its workforce, or about 350 employees.

Job cuts:

  • Unacademy will provide the affected employees with a severance pay equivalent to the notice period and an additional one month’s pay.
  • It will also offer accelerated vesting of one year, medical insurance coverage for an additional six months till September 30, and dedicated placement and career support.
  • More than 330 employees—out of the total workforce of over 2,800—are likely to have been impacted.


PhonePe turns its back on ZestMoney

PhonePe has reportedly called off the acquisition of buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) player ZestMoney after months of negotiation with the cash-strapped startup. The reasons attributed were failures with due diligence, conflicts over valuation, company viability, and ZestMoney’s ownership structure.

The background:

  • In November, YourStory reported that PhonePe was in the final stages of acquiring ZestMoney for $200 million to $300 million.
  • ZestMoney was last valued at $470 million after raising $70 million in a Series C round in September last year.
  • It has been grappling with uncertainty since RBI’s guidelines made it hard for fintech startups to extend personal credit lines via a card. 


Making nano drones for students

In India, only a handful of companies manufacture drones. One such firm is Mumbai-based Drona Aviation which specialises in making nano drones and deploys them to teach students in schools and colleges how to make drones from scratch.

Drone education:

  • Drona Aviation’s flagship product Pluto X—a ready-to-fly nano-drone—is used by 23 IITs and students from 200+ colleges.
  • The startup has collaborated with NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission arm to build a drone module and conduct teacher training.
  • It has reached 8,000 schools in India and now aims to reach 1 lakh schools and 600 colleges in India in the next 2-3 years.
Drona Aviation

News & updates

  • Flying solo: A private jet aviation boom shows no signs of slowing. Analysis by environmental campaign group Greenpeace showed the number of private jet flights in Europe last year rose by a whopping 64% to reach a record high of 572,806.
  • Cloud wars: Google Cloud has accused Microsoft of anti-competitive cloud computing practices and criticised imminent deals with several European cloud vendors, saying these do not solve broader concerns about its licensing terms.
  • Saucy sale: Nestle is among the final bidders competing to acquire Mumbai-based Capital Foods Pvt as it seeks to boost its presence in the fast-growing economy. The Swiss company has been discussing the terms of a potential deal. Any transaction would likely value the Indian firm at more than $1 billion.

Which city first adopted Daylight Saving Time (DST)? 

Answer: Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada, in 1908.

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