As many as 125 'consultants' from the edtech unicorn's PrepLadder team have been asked to vacate their positions
While Unacademy declined to state the number of employees affected, the company confirmed the development
The edtech unicorn said the decision was taken after internal reviews and assessments to improve efficiency
Edtech giant Unacademy Group is the latest Indian startup to go through layoffs as several employees who were contracted as consultants by the company have been told to leave the company.
As many as 125 ‘consultants’ from the edtech unicorn’s PrepLadder team have been asked to vacate their positions, according to sources close to the edtech unicorn. Sources told us only consultants have been impacted in this round of cutbacks, and no full-time employees have been let go.
While Unacademy declined to state the number of employees affected, the company confirmed that contracts of certain consultants have been terminated after an internal review and performance assessment.
Based on the evolving nature of the business, the management team conducts regular internal reviews and assessments to improve efficiency. A recent assessment has led to restructuring of the organization which has made certain roles redundant for consultants.
We have discussed and parted ways with certain consultants in accordance with their respective contracts. The company has, in good faith, offered certain additional benefits for these consultants which are over and above the entitlements in their contracts,” an Unacademy spokesperson told Inc42.
The statement added, “We value everyone’s contributions at PrepLadder. We wish them all the best and thank them again for all their efforts at PrepLadder.”
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Unacademy & PrepLadder: Layoffs After Acquisition
PrepLadder was acquired by the Unacademy Group in July 2020 in a $50 Mn deal. Unacademy Group cofounder and CEO Gaurav Manjal had said at the time of the acquisition that PrepLadder was a strategic acquisition for Unacademy for the medical entrance examinations category. The acquisition had seen the 250-strong PrepLadder team join Unacademy Group.
Founded by Deepanshu Goyal, Vitul Goyal, and Sahil Goyal, PrepLadder provides preparation materials for medical entrance exams such as NEET PG, AIIMS PG, NEET SS, and FMGE, with a vision of providing affordable educational materials to students to help them in their preparation for postgraduate medical entrance exams. PrepLadder claims to have over 2 Mn app downloads with 3 Mn tests till date.
Incidentally, in September 2021, a Mumbai city civil court had temporarily restrained Unacademy and PrepLadder from using the PrepLadder application in response to a petition filed by Sri Lankan edtech startup Medical Joyworks. The petitioner had alleged that PrepLadder had replicated, plagiarised and altered Medical Joyworks’ proprietary information, know-how, and technology and passed it off as its own. The restraining order was soon vacated by the Bombay High Court.
Besides Unacademy, edtech startup Lido also went through layoffs recently due to financial constraints in running its day-to-day operations. Sources had told Inc42 that the startup was unable to pay the salaries of employees for the month of January and the first week of February. The company had laid off over 150-200 employees, just a few months after raising $10 Mn in funding.