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Udaan lays off 180 employees in 'efficiency enhancement exercise'

The company, which was valued at over $3 billion in its last funding round, had an employee strength of around 4,000 before the layoffs.

June 27, 2022 / 09:21 PM IST
Udaan	| Valuation: $3.1 billion | City: Bengaluru | Industry: Supply chain, logistics, & delivery | Select investors:  DST Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Microsoft ScaleUp (In the image: Udaan founders)

Udaan | Valuation: $3.1 billion | City: Bengaluru | Industry: Supply chain, logistics, & delivery | Select investors: DST Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Microsoft ScaleUp (In the image: Udaan founders)

B2B e-commerce unicorn Udaan has laid off around 180 employees, which is approximately 4-5 percent of the workforce, according to sources close to the developments. The company had an employee strength of around 4,000 before the layoffs.

“We have taken various steps to enhance efficiency, refine our cost structure, and grow faster in our journey to achieve strong unit economics. However, the efficiency enhancement exercise has also resulted in certain redundancies in the system, with some roles no longer required,” said a company spokesperson.

“On the other hand, as part of the long-term plans of the organisation, we continue to hire talent for the new roles that have been created to grow the business faster,” he added.

Udaan, which had earlier said it plans to go public by 2023, raised $275 million in a convertible debt offering between October last year and April this year.

Udaan last raised equity funding in January 2020, when it was valued at $3.1 billion. Its investors include DST Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and GGV Capital, among others.

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Founded in 2016 by three former executives of Flipkart -- Vaibhav Gupta, Amod Malviya, and Sujeet Kumar -- the company has operations across categories including lifestyle, electronics, home & kitchen, staples, fruits & vegetables, FMCG, pharma, toys, and general merchandise.

In September last year, the company said that Gupta has been appointed as the CEO in line with the evolution needed to become a publicly listed company in 18-24 months. Before the announcement, there wasn't a CEO structure in place with the three co-founders divvying up responsibilities.

Notably, Udaan’s valuation crawled from $2.8 billion in 2019 to $3 billion in January 2021 compared to other e-commerce peers – unlike its previous euphoric rise – largely due to the pandemic, Moneycontrol reported last year.

Lightspeed, traditionally an early-stage investor, has bet big on Udaan, investing over $300 million from its India and global funds (its investments in other companies are a fraction of that amount).

Lightspeed India head Bejul Somaia and his US colleagues were said to have spent a significant amount of time sorting out Udaan’s issues, wanting to steady the fortunes of an outsized bet.

Earlier this year, Udaan said it has over 3 million users, 1.7 million retailers, and 30,000 sellers on the platform across the country.

The platform enables supply chain and logistics operations focused on B2B trade and is built on strong technology, for daily delivery across 900+ cities and 12,000+ pin codes through udaanExpress.

It enables financial products and services to small businesses, manufacturers, and retailers through udaanCapital to grow their business.
Deepsekhar Choudhury Deepsekhar covers tech and startups at Moneycontrol. Tweets at @deepsekharc
Tags: #udaan
first published: Jun 27, 2022 09:16 pm
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