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Indian BNPL startup Simpl lays off over 25% of its workforce to cut costs and extend runway

Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) fintech firm Simpl has laid off over 25% of its workforce as part of a cost-cutting measure to extend its runway, according to three anonymous sources. The company confirmed the layoffs in an email to Entrackr, saying that it had re-examined its headcount to become a leaner and more agile organization in light of the current economic conditions. Simpl raised $40 million in December 2021 to scale up its BNPL service, and has raised $83 million across several funding rounds. As of 2022, the Bengaluru-based company recorded 42 million users and onboarded 19,000 merchants, bringing the total to 26,000.

The company's co-founder and CEO, Nitya Sharma, informed employees of the layoffs during a virtual town hall, and sources indicate that the layoffs affected impacted employees across departments. The company is offering severance packages along with healthcare, outplacement, and counselling support to employees who have been asked to leave the company. Simpl's direct competitor ZestMoney was also recently in the spotlight for laying off employees after a deal with PhonePe fell through.

Simpl recorded a 17x surge in revenue to INR 31.63 crore ($4.24 million) in FY22 compared to INR 1.81 crore ($242,000) in FY21, and its losses increased 22.5x to INR 144.28 crore ($19.3 million) in FY22 from INR 6.39 crore ($858,000) in FY21, according to its annual financial statement with the RoC. The layoffs come amid a growing trend of BNPL firms cutting costs to extend their runway and remain competitive in the market.

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