Byju’s laying off 500 employees, say sources

New Delhi: Byju’s is laying off about 500 employees, including from sales, amid a financial crunch, sources said, even as the troubled edtech firm maintained that it is in the final stages of business restructuring to streamline operations.

The layoff in the embattled edtech company began 15-20 days ago, sources said, adding that it would impact 500 employees.

They, however, pointed out that the edtech player might not have to resort to further rationalisation, except in the ‘worst case scenario’.

The latest round of job cuts will impact sales functions, teachers and some tuition centres.

There was no official word from Byju’s, which has been embroiled in a legal dispute with some of its investors, with regard to the layoffs.

Few staff members were purportedly communicated about the development over the phone.

When contacted, Byju’s spokesperson, in an email response, said, “We are in the final stages of a business restructuring exercise announced in October 2023 to simplify operating structures, reduce the cost base, and better cash flow management”.

“As you are also aware, we are going through an extraordinary situation in the company because of the ongoing litigation with four foreign investors, where every employee and the ecosystem is going through tremendous stress, given the present circumstances,” the spokesperson said.

Byju’s said that it regrets the “unfortunate situation” the company has been forced into.

“Still, it is something that we will put behind us soon with majority investor support for the $200 million rights issue. We request everyone’s understanding of the individual and collective stress on the system, which might be prompting some unforeseen situations for the departing employees,” Byju’s spokesperson said.

Byju’s had earlier indicated that the business rehaul exercise would impact nearly 4,500 people, and subsequently in October and November of 2023, as many as 2,500-3,000 people were laid off.

Considering that nearly 3,000-3,500 people have been affected by layoffs so far, it still leaves the possibility for further retrenchment of 1,000-1,500 people. Byju’s recently informed its employees that there will be a delay in the disbursement of March salaries.

The management in a communication to employees had blamed the situation on an interim order obtained by “a few misguided foreign investors” in late February, which “restricted usage of the funds raised through the successful rights issue”.

Byju’s had also sought to assure staff that it is following a parallel line of credit to ensure that employees get their salaries by April 8.

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