Bengaluru-based bike-sharing platform Bounce has laid off about 40%-60% of its workforce as the demand for shared mobility remains low, 11 months after the initial Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions. This is the second round of layoffs in the past year, as the company could not revive its business even after the lockdown was lifted in most parts of the country.
Bounce employed over 600 people in June 2020, but had to lay off about 130 workers as its operations were shut. In the latest round of layoffs, 200+ employees are said to have been impacted, reducing Bounce’s workforce to 200.
According to an ET report citing sources, the company has offered three months of severance pay to the impacted former employees. They will also be receiving all the medical benefits till the end of 2021.
Commenting on the same, Bounce CEO and cofounder Vivekananda Hallekere said, “2020 has affected mobility more than any sector. During 2019 we wanted to go after platform play and we had hired accordingly to go after multiple mobility solutions. Given how 2020 has been, we have decided to focus on EV two-wheeler mobility and double down on our efforts around electrification. Accordingly, we have made some decisions which has affected a few employees at Bounce.”
Bounce said that it engaged in the “rationalisation” of its workforce in order to achieve its long-term goals.
Bounces’ senior vice president Vinay Rotti, back in June 2020, told Inc42 that the company was catering to 30% (15K rides per day) of the total ride-hailing traffic from both long term subscription and bike taxi model. The company was catering 1.30 Lakh rides per day pre-Covid but had to limit its services due to the government’s directives and the safety of its users. It was catering to only 35% of this traffic till November-December 2020, even though the lockdown was lifted in June last year.
That’s when Bounce took a breather to transition into a full electric vehicle (EV) fleet by the third quarter of 2021. As a part of the plan, it plans to add more than 10,000 electric two-wheelers to its fleet based on original designs. It received all the required approvals for its retrofitted electric scooter in November 2020, becoming the first consumer-focused bike-sharing platform to receive the certification in India.