A Day Before 250 Layoffs, Unacademy CEO’s Comment on Startup Failures Gains Attention

A Day Before 250 Layoffs, Unacademy CEO's Comment on Startup Failures Gains Attention

A Day Before 250 Layoffs, Unacademy CEO's Comment on Startup Failures Gains Attention

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Unacademy’s latest round of layoffs impacts 250 employees, as CEO Gaurav Munjal’s social media interaction highlights challenges in startup management.

Unacademy, the prominent edtech startup, recently announced a significant round of layoffs. The decision impacted 250 employees across various functions. This decision, part of the company’s ongoing efforts to streamline operations and focus on sustainable growth, closely follows a notable social media exchange on X, by CEO Gaurav Munjal.

On July 1, just a day before the layoffs were made public, Munjal commented on a post by Bhavin Turakhia, founder of Zeta on X. Turakhia’s post discussed the concept of “premature founder boredom” as a key factor in startup failures. His post emphasized that a successful startup ultimately becomes a “boring” business, marked by sustainable profitability, growing market share, and well-established processes.

Turakhia wrote, “Founders fall in love with chaos, ambiguity, and uncertainty (because variable rewards release dopamine) and can begin to detach themselves from their core business prematurely before it becomes boring, resulting in distraction, lack of focus, inefficient use of capital, and inefficient use of the best people.” 

Munjal’s response to this insightful post was succinct: “Hits the right chords.”

The very next day, Unacademy announced the layoffs. The 250 job cuts affected 100 employees from core functions. Departments such as marketing, business, production and the remaining 150 from sales, were all impacted. 

The company justified the decision as part of its strategic move to streamline operations and achieve sustainable growth and profitability.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to streamline operations and enhance business efficiency, we have recently undergone a restructuring exercise. This was necessary keeping in mind the company’s goals and vision for the year, as we focus all our efforts on sustainable growth and profitability. Consequently, some roles have been impacted. While this transition won’t be easy, we will be supporting all impacted individuals during this transition,” the statement read.

Over the past year, the Softbank-backed edtech firm has conducted several rounds of layoffs. Sources indicate that the company’s workforce has shrunk from over 6,000 employees in April 2022 to fewer than 2,000 currently. Despite raising $877 million in funding and reaching a valuation of $3.4 billion as of August 2021, Unacademy has been aggressively pursuing profitability, leading to workforce reductions.

Since founded in 2015 by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh, Unacademy has grown to become a significant player. It has created a niche in the online learning space. However, the pursuit of a more streamlined and profitable operation has necessitated difficult decisions, such as the recent layoffs.