Indian Startups Face Layoff Challenges in 2023: Over 30,000 Employees Affected, Funding Winter Continues

 Indian startups have been on a layoff spree, with over 30,000 employees affected since the start of 2022. This trend gained momentum after Byju's, the world's most valuable edtech startup, recently announced a major restructuring affecting more than 4,000 employees.

Since the beginning of 2022, around 95 startups have let go of nearly 31,965 employees as they prioritize cost-cutting and profitability, as per Moneycontrol's layoff tracker. Although the pace of layoffs has slowed in recent months, the situation remains challenging.

In 2023 alone, approximately 49 startups have laid off nearly 13,000 employees. It's worth noting that the actual number of layoffs could be higher due to some startups resorting to silent layoffs.

What's concerning is that 49 startups have already joined the list of companies conducting layoffs this year, compared to 51 startups that laid off employees in the entirety of the previous year.

Several startups, including Dunzo, Byju’s, and Cuemath, have initiated multiple rounds of layoffs. Byju's, under the leadership of its newly appointed CEO, Arjun Mohan, is set to eliminate 4,000 to 5,000 jobs, bringing the total layoffs since the start of 2022 to approximately 10,000.

Adding to the turbulence, Fi, a neobanking startup backed by investors like Peak XV, Temasek, and Alpha Wave Ventures, recently announced layoffs affecting 10% of its workforce. This move aims to extend the fintech company's cash runway amid a challenging funding environment.

Despite the challenges, Indian startups continue to navigate the funding winter. In August 2023, these startups secured $376 million in private equity and venture capital funding, down from $523 million in July. Interestingly, this dip occurred even with Zepto's substantial $200 million fundraise, valuing the quick commerce company at $1.4 billion.

As the funding winter persists, startups are compelled to make tough decisions to ensure their survival.



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