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Layoffs at agritech startup DeHaat less than a year after large fundraise

Moneycontrol logo Moneycontrol 01-08-2022 Mansi Verma
Layoffs at agritech startup DeHaat less than a year after large fundraise © Moneycontrol Layoffs at agritech startup DeHaat less than a year after large fundraise

Agritech startup DeHaat has become the latest startup to resort to layoffs, with sources saying 500 people have been sacked, a number disputed by founder and CEO Shashank Kumar.

The laysoff, however, come less than a year after the company raised $115 million in what was the largest funding round for an Indian agricultural tech startup.

In a virtual interaction with Moneycontrol on August 1, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Shashank Kumar confirmed that the company had let go of people but the number of employees affected was not in the triple digits.

"The number of layoffs is incorrect. It (layoffs) was more of a corrective measure around performances and due to culture misfit but the number is definitely not in three digits,” he said.

The company said it has an employee count of more than 2,000. In the last 14 to 15 months, they recruited more than 1,200 to 1,300 people, Kumar said.

The startup was founded in 2012 and counts Sequoia Capital India, Sofina, Lightrock, and Temasek as its investors.

It has entered the soonicorn or 'soon-to-be-unicorn' club with a valuation of more than $500 million after the last funding round in October 2021. A unicorn is a startup valued at a billion dollars or more.

Based in Gurugram, Haryana, and Patna, Bihar, DeHaat is a technology-based platform that offers end-to-end agricultural services to farmers.

It was founded by IIT, IIM, and NIT alumni Kumar, Amrendra Singh, Shyam Sundar, and Adarsh Srivastav.

According to an Inc42 report in February, while DeHaat  doubled its revenue from operations in the financial year ending on March 31, 2021, it saw its losses widen almost three times on a year-on-year basis.

Kumar said the company was not planning on making a change in its growth strategy but aimed to achieve profitability by March 2024.

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