Unacademy, the Indian edtech unicorn, has announced its fourth round of layoffs in the past 12 months. The SoftBank-backed company has reportedly sacked around 380 employees, which accounts for around 12% of its workforce. This comes as Unacademy looks to make its core business profitable and adjust to the current realities it faces.
In a note to all employees on the company’s Slack channel, co-founder and CEO Gaurav Munjal said, “We have taken every step in the right direction to make our core business profitable, yet it’s not enough. We have to go further, we have to go deeper.” He went on to say, “Unfortunately, this has led me to take another difficult decision. We will be reducing the size of our team by 12 percent to ensure that we can meet the goals we are chasing in the current realities we face. I did not anticipate I would have to do this again, and I’m very sorry.”
Unacademy has become the second-most valued edtech startup in India, thanks to backing from investors such as SoftBank, Sequoia Capital, and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. However, the company has faced some tough competition in the Indian market, with rivals such as Byju’s and Vedantu vying for a share of the edtech space.
The pandemic has accelerated the growth of the edtech sector, as more students turn to online learning due to the closure of schools and colleges. However, this has also led to increased competition and pressure on companies to differentiate themselves and stand out in a crowded market.
Unacademy has been expanding rapidly in recent years, acquiring other startups and launching new products and services. However, it seems that the company is now focusing on streamlining its operations and ensuring that its core business is profitable.
The latest round of layoffs is likely to have a significant impact on the employees affected. It is unclear at this stage which departments or roles have been affected. However, Unacademy has said that it will be providing support to those who have been let go, including severance packages and help with finding new jobs.
This latest news is a reminder of the challenges facing startups in the edtech sector, as they try to balance growth and profitability. It remains to be seen how Unacademy will fare in the coming months and whether its efforts to make its core business profitable will pay off in the long run.