Dailyhunt parent VerSe Innovation Pvt Ltd, which also runs short video app Josh, is laying off 5 per cent of its 3,000 employees. The company, which was valued at $5 billion in April 2022, called it a “regular bi-annual performance management cycle” that will see exits across VerSe.
In a statement shared with Business Today, Umang Bedi, Co-founder, VerSe Innovation, said, “Given the current economic climate, like other businesses, we’ve evaluated our strategic priorities. Considering the long-term viability of the business and our people, we have taken steps to implement our regular bi-annual performance management cycle, and made performance and business considerations to streamline our costs and our teams. This has impacted 5 per cent of our 3,000-strong workforce.”
Besides laying off 150 employees, the vernacular content aggregator will also prune salaries by 11 per cent for those earning more than Rs 10 lakh per annum. “To ensure long term profitable growth, we have exercised fiscal and employee prudence and implemented a 11 per cent salary cut for all individuals with salaries above 10 LPA,” Bedi shared.
VerSe, which raised $805 million in a Series J round led by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) in April, has close to 490 million monthly users across its Dailyhunt and Josh offerings. The Bengaluru-based unicorn also counts Google, Microsoft, Alpha Wave Global, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Luxor Capital, Sumeru Ventures, Sofina Group, Lupa Systems, Matrix Partners, etc. among its investors.
“We remain extremely committed and bullish across our entire family of apps: Josh, Dailyhunt, and PublicVibe [a hyperlocal video platform] to drive profitable growth,” Bedi added.
The layoffs come at a time when the Indian start-up ecosystem has been hit by a funding winter, owing to rising interest rates, tightening liquidity, and a slowdown in tech globally. Most start-up leaders reckon the tough macroeconomic environment could last for 12-18 months or even more.
Since the beginning of 2022, Indian start-ups have laid off over 16,000 employees as per industry estimates.
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