India: Food ordering platform Tinyowl shuts Pune branch, fires employees; more closures likely

Image from TinyOwl LinkedIn profile

TinyOwl, the online food ordering start-up that is going through a restructuring as it battles a cash crunch, shut its Pune office on Tuesday and fired all 30 employees there.

Employees said Deepak Sharma, Pune head of Tinyowl Technology Pvt. Ltd, made an announcement to this effect at 11am.

Three TinyOwl employees at Pune, who did not want to be identified, said the company plans to close its operations in Hyderabad, Delhi and Chennai as well, and limit itself to Mumbai and Bengaluru.

A TinyOwl employee in Hyderabad, also on condition of anonymity, said that the city head is currently meeting staff to discuss restructuring.

The company could not be contacted for a comment.

The employees also said TinyOwl may lay off 100 more employees, after it fired 200 employees in September.

“Everything was running smoothly until mid-September, when one of the founders came to the office and said that there is a huge crunch and we cannot sustain so many employees… They fired 15 employees then,” said one employee from the Pune team.

The company on 2 November cancelled a town hall meeting to discuss fund-raising and the way forward. TinyOwl has around 200 employees in Mumbai.

TinyOwl was founded in 2014 by Harshvardhan Mandad, Gaurav Choudhary, Saurabh Goyal, Shikhar Paliwal and Tanuj Khandelwal.

In August, a person directly involved in the fund-raising process confirmed that the company was close to raising $50 million.

Mint had reported that the company was looking at layoffs due to delays in closing its next round of funding. The layoffs come four days after TinyOwl raised only Rs.50 crore from existing investors Matrix Partners and Sequoia Capital.

As of September, the company processed 10,000 orders a day. It works with around 150 chefs and registered 500 orders a day with the average transaction value beingRs.25.

“They are playing with our careers. They hired and put in place a Pune team in March and now they are asking us to resign and are giving us no information on notice period, compensation and other exit formalities,” said one of the employees cited above.

Also Read: Foodtech starup TinyOwl cuts jobs, restructures as investor pressure increases

After job cuts and restructuring, TinyOwl raises $7.6m from existing investors Sequoia, Matrix Partners

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