Budget hotel chain Treebo, run by Ruptub Solutions has reportedly decided to lay off 70 to 80 employees across various divisions including technology, business development and quality assurance.
The cut down in staff, officially confirmed by the Bengaluru-based startup, comes as the company claims that it had invested heavily in technology and system very early into its operations. And as these technologies stabilized, it has made the jobs of many of its employees redundant.
There are observers, however, who point out that ever since the leading travel portal MakeMyTrip dropped Treebo and chose to go with OYO Rooms, Treebo has been under pressure to cut costs to stay alive and floating and the current downsizing is part of that cost-reductions exercise. For the record, the number of people being shown the door represent around 10% of the total employee count at Treebo.
Interestingly, OYO and MMT had a fallout and the properties of the former were removed from the latterâ€™s site. But after some time, OYO Rooms made a reappearance. Some say Japanâ€™s SoftBank, a common investor on both the startups brokered the return of OYO to MMT.
Whatever the dynamics between MMT and OYO, Treebo might have been the unwitting loser and the company has had to rebuild some of its businesses all over again. Treeboâ€™s co-founder Sidharth Gupta expressed an optimistic outlook for his company claiming that it intends to add more than 500 properties and expand geographically as well.
On its part, Treebo claims it is trying to make the employees feel minimum pain due to the sacking. They are being paid a two-month severance pay apart from settling their ESOP dues if any. The company is also trying to help the employees find other assignments. Treebo further claims there are no more plans of a staff-reduction exercise in the near future.
Treebo, which competes with the likes of Oyo, last raised $34 million in August 2017, in a round of funding led by Hong Kong-based hedge funds Ward Ferry Management and Karst Peak Capital.