In an internal mail, Unacademy CEO Gaurav Munjal attributed the layoffs to ‘lack of availability of roles for them’
The impacted employees would be provided with severance pay equal to the notice period and an additional two months
Unacademy has fired more than 1,500 employees across its multiple subsidiaries over the last one year
In another instance of job cuts at an edtech startup, Unacademy-owned Relevel plans to lay off 40 employees, or nearly 20% of its workforce.
In an internal mail sent to employees, Unacademy CEO and cofounder Gaurav Munjal cited
Relevel’s pivot from core education business to test product business and focus on the newly launched NextLevel app as the reason for the layoffs.
This comes a day after the edtech major launched the NextLevel app which aims to take on Microsoft-backed social media platform LinkedIn.
“Almost 80% of Relevel’s remaining team will be absorbed by other businesses of Unacademy Group and we will have to let go of around 20% (around 40 people) of the team because of lack of availability of roles for them,” Munjal said in the mail.
It is not immediately known which job roles will be affected by the retrenchments. The mail also noted the ‘challenges’ on the unit economics front.
The core team of Relevel will continue to build NextLevel. On the other hand, Unacademy said that the already enrolled students would not be impacted and would continue to receive support from the edtech major.
The impacted employees would be provided with severance pay equal to the notice period and an additional two months. Besides, the company also said that the laid off workers would also get accelerated vesting, medical insurance and placement support.
Edtech Dominates Layoffs
While the edtech space led the startup ecosystem in the number of layoffs in 2022, the trend has continued well into 2023 as well. Unacademy’s layoffs came on the same day when Inc42 exclusively reported that another edtech unicorn LEAD fired around 60 employees.
Last week, it was reported that Delhi-based edtech startup Harappa Education also sacked around 73 employees, or almost 40% of its workforce, as part of a restructuring drive.
According to Inc42, Indian edtech startups have sacked more than 8,000 employees in the past one year.
The Munjal-led Unacademy Group has fired more than 1,000 employees in the past one year. In March 2022, the company fired 125 ‘consultants’ at its PrepLadder vertical, and followed it up by laying off another 210 educators as part of a cost restructuring drive.
One of the biggest rounds of layoffs came in April 2022 when the edtech unicorn again fired around 600 employees including its on-roll staff and contractual educators. It laid off another over 150 employees in June last year.
In November 2022, Unacademy let go off another 10% of its workforce citing unprecedented times and offline pivot.
Interestingly, Munjal, in August 2022, had promised that there would not be layoffs at the company, but Unacademy has since conducted two rounds of layoffs.
The downturn is being attributed to the funding crunch plaguing the entire edtech space and macroeconomic headwinds. Besides, the opening of physical schools and coaching centres have also affected edtech startups’ revenue.
Unacademy reported a consolidated loss of INR 2,848 Cr in the financial year 2021-22 (FY22), up 85% from INR 1,537 Cr in FY21.
Despite the downturn, Unacademy continues to be one of the biggest players in the edtech space. It competes with giants such as BYJU’S, Vedantu and LEAD in the highly-competitive sector which is estimated to reach a market size of $10.4 Bn by 2025.