The Bengaluru-based edtech startup began downsizing last week, starting with vice-president level positions, and the layoffs impacted employees at all levels
Impacted employees told Inc42 that the layoffs happened abruptly and Simplilearn didn’t conduct any performance review recently
Without confirming the number, Simplilearn, which offers online upskilling courses, said performance-based exits do take place
Bengaluru-based edtech startup Simplilearn fired around 200 employees citing their poor performance over the last few days, sources told Inc42.
The layoffs affected employees at various levels, with the sales team being hit the hardest. Other departments, including marketing and operations, were also impacted by the layoffs, the sources said.
The startup began downsizing last week, starting with vice-president-level positions.
While Simplilearn told the employees that they were being sacked based on their performance, some of the impacted employees claimed that it happened abruptly and the startup hadn’t conducted any performance reviews recently.
“These layoffs were unexpected. Although the company cited the reason for this as poor performance, no performance review was conducted earlier. All of it happened suddenly. Now the existing employees are also under high pressure to get more sales,” one of the employees said.
The impacted employees were suddenly called for a one-on-one interaction with the human resources department and informed that they were being laid off, the sources said.
Meanwhile, without confirming the number of the laid off employees, Simplilearn said that performance-based exits do take place. “Our business is going as per the plan, we are hiring on a need basis across teams. Sometimes, performance-based exits do occur,” a company spokesperson told Inc42.
Founded in 2010 by Krishna Kumar, Simplilearn offers online upskilling courses in segments such as cyber security, cloud computing, project management and data science to students and working professionals.
It also offers courses in association with educational institutions and global organisations like IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, and KPMG.
In 2021, private equity firm Blackstone acquired a majority stake in the startup for $250 Mn. Last year, Simplilearn raised $45 Mn in a fresh funding round led by venture capital firm GSV Ventures.
Simplilearn’s consolidated net loss surged 26X to INR 149.9 Cr in FY22 from INR 5.6 Cr in the previous fiscal year. Total revenue stood at INR 492.8 Cr as against INR 346 Cr in FY21.
The layoffs come at a time when edtech has been among the hardest-hit sectors due to the ongoing funding winter. Edtech startups have laid off nearly 10,000 employees since the beginning of 2022.
Recently, edtech unicorn PhysicsWallah laid off around 70-120 employees. While reports suggested that the move was part of a cost-cutting exercise, the company claimed that the layoffs were due to performance issues.