Unacademy lays off 1000 employees, Bhavish Aggarwal steps down - Indian Startup News #116



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This week in Indian startup news, Unacademy lays off 1,000 employees in 2 months, Ola’s founder Bhavish Aggarwal steps away from day-to-day operations, After Zomato, Ola now enters 10-minute food delivery, Meesho lays off 150 employees, Rebel Foods acquires majority stake in Smoor.

In funding news, Lenskart raises $100 million, Medikabazaar raises $65 million, PhableCare raises $25 million, Newton School raises $25 million.

00:00 Introduction
00:09 Unacademy fires over 1,000 employees
01:34 Bhavish Aggarwal steps away from day-to-day operations
02:16 Ola enters 10-minute food delivery
02:40 Meesho lays off 150 employees
03:08 Rebel Foods acquires majority stake in Smoor
03:51 Lenskart raises $100 million
04:19 Medikabazaar raises $65 million
05:03 PhableCare raises $25 million
05:29 Newton School raises $25 million

Unacademy fires over 1,000 employees: Indian edtech startup Unacademy has reportedly laid-off around 600 of their employees, less than a month after they fired 300 employees in march, this includes both on-roll and contractual staff. This is mainly to cut costs as they plan on turning profitable by the end of this calendar year (2022).

Bhavish Aggarwal steps away from day-to-day operations: Ola’s co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal has decided to hand the reins of day to day operations to Ola group’s CFO G R Arun Kumar - who has been with Ola as the group’s CFO since last May. This decision could have been taken as Ola is gearing up for an IPO and would preferably want to have someone like G R Arun Kumar who is a veteran and has worked for over 16 years at Vedanta Resources and General Electric in building strong businesses to bring in control and discipline in terms of their financials while Bhavish can continue to build and innovate at Ola Electric.

After Zomato, Ola enters 10-minute food delivery: Ola has confirmed that they have been piloting 10-minute food delivery for a while now. Ola will be using Mukunda Foods - that makes robotic equipments which can reduce the food preparation time by 20-50%. The kind of food items that will be on the menu for include items like khichdi, pizza and rolls.

Meesho lays off 150 employees: Social commerce unicorn Meesho has also laid-off 150 employees as it restructures and rebrands their grocery business Farmiso to Meesho Superstore. According to company spokesperson, this move is aimed at bringing in efficiencies and the company will help those impacted secure new opportunities outside the company.

Rebel Foods acquires majority stake in Smoor: Cloud kitchen startup Rebel Foods has acquired a majority stake in luxury chocolate brand Smoor - in a bid to build their portfolio of brands. Smoor has grown at a rate of over 40% CAGR over the last five years and this partnership with Rebel Food will help them grow their brand and expanding their omnichannel distribution strategy through their offline kiosks, cafes and lounges in tier 1 cities and also leveraging their own digital platform and Rebel Foods’ digital platform to grow their online sales.

Lenskart raises $100 million: Eyewear brand Lenskart has raised $100 million in a round led by Alpha Wave Incubation taking their valuation to $4.3 billion. The startup is planning to invest a portion of their funding into their own Thrasio-style business by acquiring and scaling brands in the eyewear segment.

Medikabazaar raises $65 million: B2B healthcare marketplace Medikabazaar has raised $65 million in a round led by Lighthouse India Fund, which takes their valuation to $700 million. They will use funds to strengthen their technology platform, deepen their supply ecosystem, expand distribution network and expand global operations.

PhableCare raises $25 million: Healthtech startup PhableCare has raised $25 million in a round led by Kalaari Capital to invest in strategic acquisitions, accelerate market expansion, strengthen technology, build their brand and add new revenue streams.

Newton School raises $25 million: Edtech startup Newton School has raised $25 million in a round led by Steadview Capital. Newton School offers multiple programs for students and working professionals to develop their skills.

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