Exclusive: Norwest Backed Social Commerce Startup CityMall Fires 90 Employees

Exclusive: Norwest Backed Social Commerce Startup CityMall Fires 90 Employees

SUMMARY

The layoffs, which impacted, nearly all departments within the company were a result of a cost-cutting exercise and on the direction of investors

The startup had laid off nearly 191 employees last year in June

To date, CityMall has raised $112 Mn from the likes of Elevation Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Luxembourg-based Citius VC, WestBridge Ventures

Delhi NCR-based social commerce startup CityMall has conducted its second round of layoffs, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to Inc42. Nearly 16 months after its first round of layoffs, the company terminated the employment of around 90 team members on October 16.

Employees affected by the layoffs were asked to report to the office earlier than their usual start time and were informed of the layoff by the HR managers. The layoffs impacted nearly all departments within the company. The startup has provided month’s salary as severance pay.

A query mail sent to CityMall yesterday afternoon hasn’t elicited any response, despite multiple reminders. 

Inc42 also found out that while the startup has been conducting layoffs in smaller groups since June of this year, yesterday’s round was the most significant since June 2022, when approximately 191 employees were let go.

As per sources, the layoffs happened as a result of a cost-cutting exercise and on the direction of investors. 

“This layoff was sudden. We were hearing the startup has recently closed a funding round. Still couldn’t wrap my head around this,” a source aware of the development said. 

Earlier in June, the startup had conducted layoffs just three months after securing $75 Mn, marking its largest funding round to date. It is worth noting that the startup conducted an ESOP buyback exercise worth $1.3 Mn in September last year.

Another source highlighted that there has been tension escalating between the company’s management and its cofounders. The source also indicated that there has been be frequent top management changes in the company.

Interestingly, the startup has also changed its corporate office frequently in the past two years. “They have at least changed their corporate office 10 times in the last two years,” the source added. 

Founded in 2019 by Angad Kikla and Naisheel Vardhan, Gurugram-based CityMall is a social commerce startup offering grocery, fresh and packaged FMCG products, and electronics and fashion items. 

The startup primarily targets consumers in Tier III and Tier IV locations. According to the company’s website, its delivery service extends to cities such as Delhi, Gurugram, Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Agra, Allahabad, Meerut, and several other proximate areas. 

To date, CityMall has raised $112 Mn from the likes of Elevation Capital,  Norwest Venture Partners, Luxembourg-based Citius VC, WestBridge Ventures, Jungle Ventures, General Catalysts, and Accel India. 

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Exclusive: Norwest Backed Social Commerce Startup CityMall Fires 90 Employees-Inc42 Media
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