India: Ikea-backed interior design startup Livspace lays off 15% staff

Visual from Livspace website

Ikea-backed interior design startup Livspace has laid off 450 people, or 15 per cent of its staff, to combat the ripple effect of the COVID-19 outbreak that has hampered its business, according to a report by The Economic Times.

The Bengaluru-based startup, backed by investors such as TPG Growth, Goldman Sachs, Jungle Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Helion Ventures, has so far raised a corpus of 150 million since its inception in 2015.

Livspace’s experience centers and last-mile operations have been adversely impacted over the past few months with lockdown restrictions looming large on the economy and hurting businesses across diverse sectors.

Employees who have been asked to go at Livpsace will get one month’s salary along with extra pay of one-four weeks, depending on the duration of their service, the report further added. Also, they will be able to avail a health cover for the next three months.

Meanwhile, the company’s founders, Anuj Srivastava and Ramakant Sharma are understood to have given up their annual salaries, while its leadership team has written off their annual bonuses in April.

Livspace made headlines earlier this year when it raised $60 million from a slew of investors, that was supposed to be a part of a bigger $100 million round.

Ikea, through Ingka Investments, picked up a minority stake in the company for an undisclosed amount in May last year.

For the uninitiated, Livspace competes with the likes of Sequoia Capital-backed HomeLane, as well as furniture e-retailers, Pepperfry and Urban Ladder. It claims to be India’s largest home interior and renovation platform.

The company brings together homeowners, interior designers and vendors, allowing homeowners to design their homes in a predictable and fuss-free way. It offers services across seven cities in India and boasts of over 5000 customers and 2000 interior designers.

The startup earlier had plans to expand its footprint beyond metros in India, and ramp up its operations in Singapore. In fact, in October 2019, it had announced an investment of $30 million to grow its business in the city-state.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.