Shiprocket owned retail SaaS platform Omuni has laid off around 60-70 employees, or nearly 35% of its workforce, earlier this month in a restructuring exercise, according to Inc42 sources.
The layoffs, which took place in the second week of August, impacted employees from tech, product, sales, and talent acquisition teams, the sources told Inc42.
Besides the retrenchment, Omuni will also see the exits of the senior management team. Omuni CEO and cofounder Mukul Bafna, CTO Sumeet Chandhok, among others, are also exiting the company, Inc42 has learnt.
Shiprocket, without disclosing details around the number of employees impacted, leadership exits and other related details, confirmed the development to Inc42.
“At Shiprocket, we are building a full-stack ecommerce enablement platform and are always looking for opportunities to create a much bigger business impact for our merchants through partnerships, mergers and acquisitions. As we explore synergies with acquisitions, including Omuni, it often results in the consolidation of the workforce at an organisation-wide level and we have integrated some teams across various group companies. As a company, we remain committed to our vision and, consistently delivering and upholding our employee value proposition,” a Shiprocket spokesperson said.
Founded in 2014, Omuni is an omnichannel retail enablement platform for brands and retailers. Shiprocket acquired Omuni in July last year from Arvind Internet Private Limited in a combination of stock and cash for a total consideration of INR 200 Cr.
Back then, Shiprocket said the acquisition will facilitate quick, efficient deliveries of shipments from the nearest store or warehouse, significantly reducing delivery timelines and enhancing customer experience.
Commenting on the layoffs, one of the sources said, “Nobody anticipated this would happen. We had a town hall about the upcoming product and in the evening employees were removed from the system without any valid explanation.”
Omuni is giving a salary of two months as severance pay to the employees who were laid off.
Top-Level Exits Amid IPO Plans
As per the sources, Vivek Kalra, the cofounder and director of Glaucus Supply Chain solutions, another company acquired by Shiprocket, will lead the Omuni team in place of Bafna.
While it is not uncommon for founders and senior management employees to leave a company post acquisition, the high-level exits at Omuni right after the layoffs have raised a few eyebrows.
“Omuni is undergoing a transition at this point. Shiprocket is preparing for a public listing, and all these restructuring activities are a part of the same,” a source said.
Another source said that Omuni generally deals with traditional business, whereas Shiprocket’s DNA evolves around new-age D2C brands. The transition will enable them to work with SMEs and MSMEs as well.
However, multiple sources also told Inc42 that Omuni’s performance as a business unit didn’t matched the expectations set during the acquisition.
“Omuni was struggling to close deals and was lagging behind the target that was set by Shiprocket at the time of acquisition,” one of the sources said.
Shiprocket Acquisition Spree, And Losses
Omuni’s acquisition was part of Shiprocket’s buying spree in 2022 when it acquired a number of companies for its growth ambitions. Besides Omuni, the Zomato-backed SaaS logistics startup also acquired Pickrr, Wigzo, Glaucus, and Rocketbox last year.
The Delhi NCR-based unicorn entered the coveted unicorn club in August last year after it raised a bridge round of $33 Mn led by Lighrock India at a valuation of around $1.2 Bn.
To date, Shiprocket has raised over $387 Mn across multiple rounds. It counts marquee names like Temasek, Moore Strategic Ventures, Paypal, and March Capital among its backers.
Shiprocket slipped into the red in FY22, reporting a net loss of INR 93.1 Cr as against a profit of INR 12.4 Cr in FY21. While operating revenue rose to INR 611 Cr in FY22 from INR 358 Cr in the previous year, total expense ballooned to INR 727.8 Cr from INR 350.6 Cr in FY21.
The layoffs at Omuni is an addition to the ever-growing list of Indian startups which have fired employees amid the ongoing funding winter. As per Inc42’s layoff tracker, Indian startups have laid off over 29,000 employees since 2022.
The post Exclusive: Shiprocket-Owned Omuni Fires Nearly 35% Workforce; CEO, CTO To Exit appeared first on Inc42 Media.