Home-grown regional language social media platform ShareChat on Wednesday announced that it had to let go of 101 of its employees, or about a fourth of the company's total workforce, due to the COVID-19-induced uncertainties in the advertising market.
The Bengaluru-based company's cost-saving measures were announced in an email to employees by Ankush Sachdeva, Cofounder and CEO of the five-year-old firm which competes against the likes of Facebook and TikTok.
"... today with the market uncertainties due to COVID-19, we are compelled to take a relook at our business. We have had to make a few decisions that would allow us to become leaner and position the company better for the future," Sachdeva said in the email.
A ShareChat spokesperson later confirmed the decision to lay off 101 employees.
"The global pandemic along with various local market uncertainties have had an impact on our business plans. This has pushed us towards certain tough decisions including a revised leaner structure while we continue to grow," the spokesperson said in a statement.
"We've had to let go of 101 of our employees who've been part of our start-up journey. This was not an easy decision to make."
ShareChat said it will provide a comprehensive severance package and extend assistance to the impacted associates with their outplacement support.
The Twitter-backed firm started monetisation through advertisements only last year. But the COVID-19 brought uncertainties to the ad market.
"We have to focus on our core product and feed recommendation driven growth levers while scaling back on the others. We need to go back to our fundamentals in terms of only picking bets that move the needle for growth," Sachdeva said.
"We believe the ad market would remain unpredictable this year. We are streamlining our revenue teams to these new expectations yet will keep working towards building the necessary technology infrastructure," he said.
In another big change, which is in line with Twitter's decision to allow some employees to work from home forever, ShareChat said that it would be partially remote at all times in the future.
"We have adapted well to the remote working environment. Hence, we have re-looked at the requirement of physical office spaces. We would be partially remote at all times in the future," Sachdeva said in the email.
ShareChat, which has over 60 million monthly active users, raised $100 million in a new round of funding in last August.