Byju’s-owned WhiteHat Jr lays off 300 employees to cut costs
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Edtech giant Byju’s-owned kids-focused coding platform WhiteHat Jr has laid off around 300 employees globally as the industry continues to witness restructuring and cost cutting across major edtech players.

The number of employees asked to leave across Brazil and India could be as much as 600, a person aware of the details said. 

The company 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," said a Byju's spokesperson. 

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

The termination comes two months after Whitehat Jr saw resignations  from 250 to 800 employees after it asked them to relocate. 

Meanwhile, parent Byju’s has delayed some payments due to shareholders of Aakash Educational Services by 2 months. The acquisition of Aakash was first announced in April 2021 in a $1billion cash and stock deal. 

Over the past months, startups across, especially in the edtech space, have witnessed massive cut down of workforce laying off over 10,000 employees amid shrinking valuations, rising costs and lower valuations after a bumper fundraising year in 2021. 

Startups across the board including Unacademy, Vedantu, Lido Learning, FrontRow, WhiteHat Jr, Meesho, Furlenco, Cars24, MFine, OkCredit and latest being Citimall, among others, have also witnessed mass layoffs or resignations.  

A week ago, another two-year old edtech player SuperLearn became the latest startup to shut down its operations due to lack of fundraising.  

Edtech decacorn Byju’s had acquired Mumbai-based WhiteHat Jr for $300 million two years ago in August 2020. 

Run by WhiteHat Education Technology Pvt. Ltd, the venture was founded in 2018 by Karan Bajaj, the former chief executive officer of Discovery Networks. 

The startup teaches coding to students between the ages of 6 and 14 via a live online one-to-one platform teaching the principles of coding—sequence, structure, logic, commands and algorithmic thinking. 

For FY21, WhiteHat Jr had posted a total loss of Rs 1,690 crore earning around Rs 484 crore from its operations. Its expenses were substantially higher at Rs 2,175 crore. 

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