Social commerce start-up Trell is likely to lay off 50 per cent of its workforce across various India offices, which includes nearly 300 people in March, multiple sources privy to the development told Business Today.
This development comes amidst a review being carried by audit firm EY into the alleged financial irregularities by the Trell co-founders, which includes allegations of siphoning of the money for personal uses. Sources told BT that the co-founders have raised their concerns over the ongoing audit having been ordered by the investors without the company board’s consent.
A top official within the company told Business Today on the conditions of anonymity that the final report pertaining to the audit is yet to be submitted to the board and that the company will undergo restructuring which will make several roles redundant.
BT reached out to Trell with detailed queries. Their responses were awaited at the time of publishing this story.
The development was first reported by the business news website, Entrackr.
“Hundreds of resumes from ex-Trell employees have flooded the job websites and there is a serious concern at the way company has laid off its employees in a matter of few days. The downsizing has been done in content moderations, and operations verticals,” one of the sources quoted above said.
Trell was reportedly in talks with e-commerce giant Amazon to raise $150 million after securing two rounds of investments from a clutch of investors last year.
The start-up, which is valued at nearly $130 million, had raised $45 million in a Series B round in July, 2021, and has raised a cumulative capital of $62 million till date, as per an earlier company statement.
“Despite raising a significant amount in just four years since its inception after it pivoted to social commerce from a blogging site, Trell’s cash burn / financial irregularities may have spooked investors,” a start-up venture capitalist, preferring not be named, said.
In August 2020, Trell also launched its social commerce section on the app, enabling users to watch personalised product recommendations across beauty, personal care and wellness categories that they can buy from within the app.
In the last few months, Trell has onboarded over 500 personal care and beauty brands, with the most recent addition of Maybelline, L'Oréal and Garnier. Growing exponentially since its inception, Trell claimed a 15x year-on-year growth and 30 per cent month-on-month growth on its transactions.
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