After Byju’s, another edtech startup Practically fires employees, holds back salaries for months

The edtech sector has laid off almost 7000 people in 2022 so far, and is facing headwinds as offline classes and coaching centres have reopened.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, November 06, 2022, 05:37 PM IST
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The firm said restructuring will leave some teams reduntant. | Pixabay

The pandemic boost for study from home facilitated dramatic growth for edtech startups in India, with many of them led by Byju’s, doubling their user base in less than a year. But as the euphoria has ebbed, the reality of the edtech bubble has started to unravel, and along with a massive loss at Byju’s, people are losing jobs across e-learning startups. While Byju’s planned layoff of thousands of employees has been in the news, another startups Practically has fired permanent staff members and even withheld their salaries.

Employees not paid for four months

The immersive platform which provides edtech services for kindergarten to class 12 (K12) hasn’t been paying its contractual as well as permanent employees for the past four months. It has cited a fund crunch and a stalled fundraising push for holding back salaries and is struggling to survive with offline classes and coaching centres reopening, according to Moneycontrol’s report. Practically’s layoff is just one of many in the edtech space, where almost 7000 people have lost jobs in 2022 alone, indicating that online learning has failed to replace physical classrooms.

Restructuring business model to survive

Internal emails cited changing market dynamics for investors failing to send the required capital, and the firm also mentioned plans to restructure the business, which will leave some teams redundant. Practically reportedly responded to queries from a media publication, by adding that it was close to singing business to business deals, and will repay dues of employees after that.

Byju’s hiring celebs after firing staffers

The biggest edtech startup in India, Byju’s is still in the process of laying off employees, although it backtracked on shutting down Kerala operations after government intervention. But at the same time the company is hiring more teachers globally, and has even brought football star Lionel Messi as its international brand ambassador. While apologising to sacked employees, founder Byju Raveendran had asked them to treat the layoff as a time off, and assured them that they’ll be hired again once the firm is profitable

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