Twitter rival Koo lays off 30% staff amid tough market conditions


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Bengaluru-based microblogging platform Koo has laid off 30% of its workforce as part of a cost-cutting measure amid a challenging macroeconomic environment.

Koo has close to 300 employees, according to its LinkedIn page, which implies the downsizing exercise affected close to 90 employees. The workforce was trimmed over the course of a year, a company spokesperson said.

The Twitter rival said it gave support to the affected employees in form of compensation packages, extended health benefits, and outplacement services. “Like most startups, Koo also built in a workforce to account for spikes. Given the current market environment and external realities of a global slowdown, we get affected too,” the company said in a statement.

Koo will focus on improving unit economics and driving efficiency rather than growth, according to the statement.

Bloomberg was the first to report on the development.

The move comes as several startups look to cut costs by reducing their workforce, with several of them admitting to having overhired in the past. Most recently, edtech firm Unacademy let go of 12% of its workers, while healthcare firm Pristyn Care dismissed nearly 300 employees. Global firms including Meta, Disney, and consultancy firm EY, too, have narrowed staff.

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The company raised $10 million in January 2023, making it well-capitalised for the time being. “We aren’t looking at raising funds right now. We are making great progress with revenue and will look to raise funds in the future as necessary,” it added.

Founded in 2020, Koo has raised over $70 million in funding so far from investors including Tiger Global Management, Kalaari Capital, and Accel. It has bagged close to 60 million downloads in the last three years and is the second-largest microblog globally, enabling conversation in over 20 languages. It started monetisation experiments in September 2022 and has more than 100 brands advertising on the platform.

“As history has proven, there will be better times for all of us collectively and we are most positive about what we are building for the world and what Koo means for India’s foray into the world of social media,” Koo noted.

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