Indian edtech Unacademy cuts 10% of jobs

Unacademy has eliminated 10% of its workforce, or about 350 roles, in its second round of layoffs this year as the Indian edtech warns of harsh economic conditions.

In an email to employees on Monday, Unacademy co-founder and chief executive Gaurav Munjal said the startup is cutting jobs across several verticals, many of which it is either scaling back or shutting down.

“I want to apologize to everyone sincerely since we made a commitment of no layoffs in the organizations,” he wrote in the email, seen by TechCrunch.

“But the market challenges have forced us to reevaluate our decisions. Fund has significantly slowed down and a large portion of our core business has moved offline,” he added.

The Bengaluru-headquartered Unacademy, valued at $3.4 billion, cut 1,000 full-time and contractual roles in April this year.

Unacademy has undertaken several cost-cutting measures in recent quarters as it rushed to improve its finances and cut several experimental businesses. In June this year, Munjal said that he and other founders will take a pay cut and shut down “certain businesses.”

Edtech firms are among the most impacted startups in the current market downturn. Online learning platform Byju’s, India’s most valuable startup, has also announced plans to cut thousands of jobs this year. The startup, valued at $22 billion, has also postponed its IPO plans, but it is looking to list its offline subsidiary, Aakash, at a valuation of over $3.5 billion, TechCrunch reported last week.

In the email on Monday, Munjal said he takes complete responsibility for the decision. “You have contributed immensely to the success of Unacademy and the team will always be indebted to you. There is no easy way to do this and this is definitely not the kind of separation I would have wanted. We will do our best to help everyone in these difficult times,” he said.

Unacademy — which counts Sequoia India, Tiger Global and SoftBank among its backers — said it will provide those leaving the firm with severance pay that is equivalent of their notice period and of additional two months, accelerate the vesting period of their stock by one year and bankroll medical insurance coverage for one year.