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Layoffs, shutdowns, funding crunch: The Great Indian Startup Party is over

Startups have also resorted to shutting down non-core verticals, rationalising marketing and advertising spends and have gone on a hiring freeze, as they enter a bleak period, after a blockbuster funding party that lasted for nearly two years

May 24, 2022 / 07:49 AM IST

When Jiten Sharma (name changed) was offered a fourfold hike in salary to join one of India’s fastest growing startups as a product engineer last October, he was happy.

“Demand for engineers had skyrocketed in 2021 and these new companies were offering crazy packages as they looked to expand aggressively,” he said.

“I had a discussion with my family, especially with my father, who was not convinced about this (Sharma joining the company). He wanted me to join some established company for the sake of job security, but I told him that the company had raised crores of rupees recently and was hiring robustly. I was able to convince him that my job would be secure there,” Sharma said.

Little did Sharma know that the startup - then called a ‘soonicorn’ or a privately funded company valued between $500 million and $900 million - would sack him along with hundreds of others in only about eight months after raising close to $100 million, citing a funding crunch.