Indian edtech unicorn Vedantu lays off 200 employees amid demand crunch

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Amid the challenges faced by online education startups with the reopening of schools post-pandemic, edtech unicorn Vedantu announced on Thursday that it has laid off around 200 employees, or 3.5% of its total workforce.

The move comes close on the heels of its rival Unacademy, India’s second-largest edtech firm after BYJU’s, reportedly laying off 1,000 employees over the past few weeks. In February, another edtech startup Lido Learning asked over 1,200 employees to go as it looked to shut operations amid a fund crunch. Vedantu was reportedly in the fray to acquire Lido Learning.

Elaborating on the reason for the layoffs, a Vedantu spokesperson said, “We have over 6,000 employees, of which 120 on contract and 80 fulltime, or 3.5% of the total strength, are academics or assistant teachers [who] were being reevaluated. We have an annual contract with them, and at the beginning of every academic year, we follow a process of load rebalancing where we rejig pertaining to these roles, based on our growth expectations. Reassessment cannot be done in the middle of the year as the learning experience and continuity of the teachers throughout the year is our first priority.”

“As we synchronise our growth goals for this year, we are also hiring more than 1,000 employees in various teams, including 100+ for similar positions,” the spokesperson added.

Vedantu became the fifth Indian edtech startup to achieve the unicorn status in September last year after raising $100 million in a Series E funding led by Singapore-based ABC World Asia. The round also saw participation from existing investors Coatue, Tiger Global and GGV Capital.

The 11-year-old startup focuses on providing live tutoring courses to students from 3 years to 18 years of age. It also offers coaching for competitive exams such as IIT-JEE, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), and school board exams such as Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), and state boards.

Outside edtech, other startups reported to have laid off employees recently include social commerce startup Meesho, furniture rental startup Furlenco, bookkeeping platform OkCredit, and influencer-led social commerce startup Trell.

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