The new year has not brought any good news for Indian tech employees, especially those in the start-up domain. After the recent layoffs announced by Harappa, Bounce and Amazon, it is now the turn of Relevel to trim its workforce.
The Unacademy-owned product upskilling platform is set to terminate 40 employees or nearly 20 per cent of its workforce.
The development came as the company is shutting down its core education business and moving to test products, launching a new application called NextLevel. This application is expected to compete with Linkedin.
"Relevel will be completely shifting its focus from the education business in the upcoming months to focus completely on its test product and the newly launched App called NextLevel," Unacademy co-founder and CEO, Gaurav Munjal told employees through an internal email on January 10.
"Almost 80 percent of Relevel’s remaining team will be absorbed by other businesses of Unacademy Group and we will have to let go of around 20 (around 40 people) of the team because of lack of availability of roles for them," he added.
Launched in 2021 by Shashank Murali, Saksham Keshri and Prakash Kumar, Relevel raised $20 million from Unacademy 2021. Munjal was bullish about the company, and in July 2022. he had tweeted, "Relevel will cross $10M ARR this month. Took 7 months to get here."
This pivoting of the business model and shutting down of its core business shows that things did not pan out the way the Unacademy founder had hoped. The job market is seeing significant swings due to global economic conditions as companies are slowing down their hiring process. Hence, hiring platforms are facing difficulties to place potential candidates.
Incidentally, Bengaluru-based Unacademy has cut down its employee numbers four times over the past few months. In November, it terminated 350 employees.
Keeping the difficulties in the tech sector in mind, Munjal, at that time, took the issue to Twitter and wrote that the new year would bring more hardships for the sector compared to 2022. The latest layoff in the year 2023 by the company has raised a pertinent question, 'Is the tech sector moving towards those difficult days?'
2023 will be worse than 2022 for Tech. This is what I keep hearing.— Gaurav Munjal (@gauravmunjal) November 27, 2022