Edtech layoffs continue: Byju’s-owned WhiteHat Jr sacks 300 employees to cut costs

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    Edtech startup WhiteHat Jr, owned by Byju’s, has sacked nearly 300 employees globally as the industry continues to witness restructuring and cost cutting across major edtech sector.

    The current round of downsizing has affected employees both in India and other geographies, where the code-teaching platform operates.

    The number of employees in WhiteHat Jr who have been asked to leave across Brazil and India could be as much as 600, a person aware of the details told VCCircle.

    However, the edtech startup has declined to specify the exact number of impacted employees.

    “To realign with our business priorities, we are optimizing our team to accelerate results and best position the business for long-term growth. WhiteHat Jr continues to put students first and invest in building a high-quality teacher’s network,” a Byju’s spokesperson said.

    The layoff exercise began at WhiteHat Jr a week ago, the report added. The workforce reduction is likely to have been carried out across verticals including sales, marketing, tutors and operations among others.

    According to earlier reports, over 800 employees of WhiteHat Jr had resigned in the March and April after being asked to ‘work from office’.

    WhiteHat Jr is owned by edtech giant Byju’s, which acquired the startup firm for $300 million in 2020.

    On 18 March this year, in a company-wide email, the startup had asked remote employees to return to respective office locations within a month’s time. The sales, coding and math teams were asked to work from Gurugram, Mumbai and Bengaluru offices, respectively.

    This has led to en masse resignations. More than 800 full-time employees across the company, including from sales, coding, and math teams, have voluntarily resigned from the startup as they didn’t want to relocate to their respective office locations.

    “As part of our back-to-work drive, most of our Sales and Support employees have been asked to report to Gurgaon and Mumbai offices from April 18. We have made exceptions for medical and personal exigencies and have offered relocation assistance as required. Our teachers will continue to work from home,” WhiteHat Jr had said.

    WhiteHat Jr has been running on losses. It posted a total loss of 1,690 crore in FY21. Between 1 April, 2020 to 31 March, 2021, the startup earned 483.9 crore from its operations, while posting a total expense of 2,175.2 crore.

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