Noida-based video micro-blogging platform, Frankly.me, has laid off close to 30 employees – about 40% of its team, as the company pivots its business model. We tried reaching out to Nikunj Jain – cofounder of Frankly.me for more details, but were unable to elicit a response.
One of the sacked ex-employee informed us that all the fired employees were from non-technical profiles – primarily celebrity managers, business development execs and offline marketing and activation team. Earlier, the company had a team size of about 75 employees.
According to the ex-employee, the company took this move because it has pivoted from a celebrity Q&A platform to a more horizontal video social network; hence the celebrity managing team wasn’t needed anymore.
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The company also had a B2B offering, where it made mobile and desktop web Q&A widgets for news, content sites. The product had many users among bloggers like carblogindia.com, newslaundry.com, foodfood.com and imsindia.com. However, the further development of this product has been postponed for now.
The overall growth strategy of the company is being realigned. It is now focusing entirely on campus ambassador program and a new viral video format that allows people to create video memes.
All these factors collectively called for some workforce restructuring and thereby led the company to take this move. “However, the startup has tried its best to ensure that the sacked employees are not left high and dry,” said another source. The company has provided references of these employees to other founders and arranged interviews for most of them – about 80% of these sacked employees have already received their new job offers.
Frankly.me was founded in April 2014 by Ex-InnoxApps founder, Nikunj Jain and Ex-Zumbl founder, Abhishek Gupta. Earlier this year, it received seed funding of $600,000 from Matrix Partners. The startup has over 800 celebrities and about 250,000 users on its platform.
A number of other startups also had to lay off their employees because they had to pivot; the most recent example being Vizury. The Bangalore-based Digital CRM company had to fire close to 50 employees across three cities, as it had to pivoted its business model and attempts to adopt a data-based marketing model. Zomato too fired about 300 of its employees – about 10% of its team, as it shifted its focus from its feet-on-the-street model to a transaction-based business.
LocalOye, today, announced that it has fired close to 60 employees as part of its restructuring attempt. Most of the fired employees were from its call servicing and merchant acquisition team. They all have received their full and final settlements.