BNPL Startup Simpl Implements Layoffs Amidst Financial Pressures

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Simpl, a prominent Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) fintech startup, has recently undertaken a significant workforce reduction, laying off over 100 employees across various departments and roles. This strategic move comes in the wake of heightened financial challenges, including elevated monthly cash burn and a slowdown in new user acquisitions.

The decision to downsize the workforce was communicated to employees through a town hall meeting led by Founder and CEO Nityanand Sharma. Sources familiar with the matter revealed that the layoffs primarily targeted employees in higher-paying functions such as engineering and product development. The affected individuals span multiple domains within Simpl, including core operations, interns, calling agents, and the D2C checkout vertical.

These layoffs represent part of Simpl’s broader cost-cutting measures aimed at improving operational efficiency and moving towards profitability. While the decision was undoubtedly difficult, Simpl remains committed to supporting affected employees by offering assistance with outplacement and job search efforts.

The recent downsizing initiative marks the second round of layoffs for Simpl in consecutive years, following a similar workforce reduction in March 2023. Despite previous assurances of no further layoffs, the company found it necessary to streamline its workforce amid evolving business dynamics.

Simpl emphasized that these measures are essential for enhancing operational efficiencies, reducing fixed and overhead costs, and ultimately accelerating the journey towards profitability. Ashish Kulshrestha, Head of Corporate Communications at Simpl, reiterated the company’s commitment to creating shared value for merchants and customers while navigating the challenging economic landscape.

The timing of these layoffs coincides with increased regulatory scrutiny faced by BNPL credit startups in India, with the Reserve Bank of India tightening regulations. The closure of ZestMoney, another BNPL startup, in December 2023 further underscores the industry’s challenges.

Despite these headwinds, Simpl remains a prominent player in the BNPL space, boasting partnerships with over 26,000 merchants, including industry giants like Zomato, MakeMyTrip, Big Basket, and Crocs. The company continues to innovate its offerings, introducing products like Bill Box, which allows customers to pay their bills in three installments.

Founded in 2016, Simpl previously raised significant funding rounds, including a $40 million Series B fundraise in 2021 led by Valar Ventures and IA Ventures. Despite the recent workforce reduction, Simpl remains steadfast in its mission to provide innovative financial solutions and drive value for its stakeholders amidst a rapidly evolving industry landscape.

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