Carousell, a Singaporean consumer-to-consumer (C2C) service platform operating across Southeast Asia, is letting go of about 110 employees, or 10% of its total headcount, in an effort to reduce costs amid a challenging market condition for the tech industry.
The announcement came from the company’s blog on Thursday, posted by co-founder and CEO of Carousell Siu Rui Quek, saying, “I take responsibility for the decisions that have led us here. Parting with teammates, whom we are grateful to for joining us on this mission, is a very difficult decision.”
Carousell did not specify which business units would be affected by the layoffs, but a spokesperson said in an email statement that about 50 roles in Singapore were impacted. The Singapore-headquartered company operates in Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and Myanmar.
In the statement, the company’s leaders had discussed finding ways, including moving to an inexpensive rental office and slashing co-founders and executives’ salaries voluntarily to save budgets without cutting staff. But that was “far from enough,” it said.
Quek also explained in the blog post that he “was too optimistic” about the recovery from the COVID pandemic and even doubled down on recruitment and investment for its business. “The reality is that we were quick to grow our expenses and hire, but the returns took longer than expected,” Quek wrote. “It is important to act swiftly, course correct, and right size our investment levels to better align with this new reality.”
The affected workers will receive at least three months’ salary and be able to extend their medical benefits and insurance coverage through June next year. According to the statement, the company will also pay out all remaining time off balances and offer career counseling and job search support, letting those laid-off workers keep their office laptop and LinkedIn Learning membership until June 2023.
Founded in 2012, Carousell, backed by Sequoia Capital India, Naver, 500 Global and Rakuten Capital, has raised a total of $372.6 million since its inception, per Crunchbase.
This article was updated to include which office was impacted by the layoffs in the third paragraph.