Edtech major Byju’s on Thursday laid off an additional 900 employees, making it the third round of firing in the last one year. According to two people aware of the development, the layoffs have impacted all business functions, including operations, business development, engineering and others.Sources said that employees across both senior- and mid-senior levels were impacted by the current round of layoffs. When contacted by FE, a Byju’s spokesperson declined to comment on the current round of layoffs.
Earlier in October, Byjus had laid off around 2,500 employees across various subsidiaries, including Toppr, Meritnation, TutorVista, Scholr and HashLearn, citing “redundancies” in roles. At that time, the edtech firm said that its previous acquisitions in the K-10 business space would be consolidated as a single business unit. However, Aakaash and Great Learning, which were acquired in 2021 and 2022, respectively, would continue to function as independent firms. In June 2022, Byju’s also fired around 500 employees across its two subsidiaries — Whitehat Jr and Toppr.
However, the total number of layoffs at that time was believed to be much higher. Toppr, WhitehatJr, Meritnation, TutorVista, Scholr and HashLearn are a few of the 17 companies that Byju’s acquired to date in what was touted as a major consolidation spree. The edtech giant’s biggest M&A deals include the $950-million purchase of Aakaash Learning, the $600-million acquisition of Great Learning and $150-million Toppr buy, all of which were reported in 2021.
These acquisitions were made during the height of a funding frenzy into various consumer Internet segments, which saw the edtech startups alone raising a record $4.2 billion across 310 rounds in CY21. This was higher than the $2.3 billion raised across 220 rounds in CY2019. Since most Indian schools and educational institutions remained shut during 2020, edtechs saw a tremendous uptick in registrations and subscriptions. However, by 2022, growth lost momentum, shaking up the segment.
This resulted in massive layoffs in firms such as Byju’s, Vedantu and Unacademy, while multiple smaller startups shuttered operations. Byju’s reported a loss of Rs 4,564 crore in FY21. The financial statement showed the net loss saw an increase as promotion and employee expenses rose. Revenues fell 3.3% to Rs 2,428 crore as it deferred about 40% of its revenue to subsequent years due to its new revenue recognition model.