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Startup Street: As OYO, Ola cut workforce, 2020 tough year for startup, SME employees

Updated : January 17, 2020 06:02 AM IST

The year 2020 has not begun on a good note for the startup sector, with some of the big unicorns announcing layoffs as they move towards profitability.

OYO alone is laying off 1,000 employees this month and more could follow in the coming months. The unicorn's founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal reached out to employees citing the startup's new priorities for 2020 in a bid to restructure manpower.

Cab aggregator Ola is also set to lay off 200 employees of its current strength of 4,500 as the company is "redesigning of the organisation" with a focus on growth and profitability. The company will also move 150 employees to newer verticals of Ola Electric and Ola Financial Services.

A recent survey by LocalCircles showed 2020 could be a tough year for startups and SMEs as one-third of them predict raising funds would be a challenge this year, while one in five startups have been concerned about their business survival.

This does not bode well for startup employees. Early-stage venture capital firm Ankur Capital has made the first close of its second fund at Rs 240 crore in 2020.

The Mumbai-headquartered investor has brought on board British Development Finance Institution and CDC as anchor investors.

Voice AI platform Observe.ai, which offers artificial intelligence to improve human performance in customer support, says BPO industry will not be fully automated for at least this decade, this is where the startup, which recently raised $26 million in funding, is betting on.

Startup Street checks reality of the startup sector in Bengaluru to find out how they are using new funds.

 
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