Business analyst, software engineering, product, operations, SPM, and CSM among the roles impacted by the layoffs
Most of the laid off employees from the India team as the startup focusing on the US market now
Skit.ai, earlier known as Vernacular.ai, raised $23 Mn in its Series B funding round in September 2021
Bengaluru-based SaaS voice automation startup Skit.ai laid off around 115 employees on Thursday (January 12). However, sources told Inc42, the number could be as high as 130.
The layoffs were announced by Skit.ai CEO and cofounder Sourabh Gupta during a town hall meeting. The startup has an employee count of 335, as per its Linkedin page.
Business analyst, software engineering, product, operations, SPM, and CSM are among the roles impacted by the layoffs, the sources said. Most of the laid off employees are from the India team as the startup is now focusing on the US market, they added.
Two employees who were sacked told Inc42 that the layoffs were sudden and unexpected.
One of the sources said that the startup was not able to generate enough revenue from the small enterprises it was providing services to in India. Going ahead, it will provide its services only to existing large customers in India, including banks, insurance, and aviation companies. Meanwhile, it has decided to double down on the US business.
The startup has offered two months of salary as a severance package to the laid off employees and will extend their insurance coverage for the next six months, as per the documents reviewed by Inc42. The impacted employees have also been allowed to retain office assets such as laptops and iPads.
In a statement confirming the development with Inc42, Gupta said, “We have always had a team-first philosophy at Skit.ai. While the restructuring was unavoidable, well being of our ex-employees is important to us. Our priority right now is to support them in this transition and we are fully committed to that. We are grateful to everyone who has contributed to building the company. Over the last few quarters, we are seeing significant growth in the US with an increasing customer base. Our future team requirements are according to that. We have also secured investor support for US expansion.”
In September 2021, the startup raised $23 Mn in its Series B funding round led by WestBridge Capital. Existing investors Kalaari Capital and Exfinity Ventures, Angellist Syndicate led by Aaryaman Vir Shah of Prophetic Ventures, and LetsVenture syndicate led by Sense AI also participated in the funding round.
Skit.ai has raised around $30 Mn in multiple funding rounds till date.
Launched in 2016 by Gupta, and Akshay Deshraj, Skit.ai offers SaaS voice automation solutions to enable enterprises to automate their call centre operations. The startup, which was earlier called Vernacular.ai, claims its product can respond to over 16 languages, covering more than 160 dialects and replicating human-like conversations. However, the startup is currently focusing on call centre automation in the US.
Skit.ai competes against the likes of Yellow.ai and Reliance-backed Haptik.
The funding winter created a mayhem in the Indian startup ecosystem in 2022, resulting in layoffs and shutdowns. As per Inc42’s layoff tracker, Indian startups laid off more than 18,000 employees last year.