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Unacademy lays off ~1,000 employees in a massive cost-cutting exercise

Edtech unicorn Unacademy has laid off around 1,000 employees, including its on-roll staff and contractual educators in the past few weeks, reported Economic Times.

The report added that approximately 600 people were asked to leave last week as the SoftBank-backed edtech giant looks to cut costs amid an impending slowdown in venture funding and tightening of the overall economic environment.

Out of the 1,000 employees fired in the past few weeks, about 300 were allegedly educators on contracts while the rest were in sales, business, and other functions.

In a statement to Economic Times Tech, a spokesperson from the company said that Unacademy was building a “culture of high performance and transparency”.

“Based on the outcome of several assessments, a small subset of employee, contractor, and educator roles were re-evaluated due to role redundancy and performance, as is common for any organization of our size and scale. The company has in good faith ensured they receive certain additional benefits and a generous severance,” it added. 

However, half a dozen employees among the ones who have been laid off claim that they were unaware of the entire exercise and no feedback was given to them about bad ratings or performance.

The employees were allegedly given an hour to accept the company’s offer of two months of severance in a call with the Human Resources (HR) department, reported Economic Times. Unacademy has not helped these employees with any outreach to find new jobs either.

Founded in 2015 by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh, Unacademy entered the unicorn club in September 2020. In its last funding round, the edtech startup raised $440 million from Singapore’s Temasek, along with other existing backers like Softbank Vision Fund, General Atlantic, and Tiger Global Management. At the time, it was valued at $3.44 billion

After raising this round, Unacademy was on an aggressive hiring spree, YourStory had reported. 

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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