Koo, a home-grown microblogging app that competes with Twitter, has been struggling with losses and the inability to raise funds and has now laid off almost a third of its 260 employees in recent months.
What Happened? A spokesperson for Koo, while speaking to Bloomberg, said that the company had to focus on efficiency, and the layoffs were necessary to prove unit economics.
Initially, the Bengaluru-based company benefited from Twitter’s controversy with the Indian authorities over the content on its platform. Many citizens, including government officials, cricket stars, and Bollywood celebrities, turned to Koo as a local alternative.
However, the current struggle to access cash comes amid a global rout for technology companies and depressed investment activity that has slashed billions from the valuations of once high-flying startups.
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Tiger Global-backed Koo has more than 60 million downloads, and the company is “well capitalized,” according to co-founder Mayank Bidawatka. He added that the company has one of the highest revenue per user among other social media companies. Koo is striving to become profitable with monetization experiments.
Koo had raised funds at a valuation of $273 million (₹2,243.66 crore) last year, according to research firm Tracxn. The startup has supported the dismissed employees with compensation packages, extended health benefits, and help finding new jobs.
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