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Hostage crisis at TinyOwl Pune ends as co-founder Gaurav Choudhary makes his way to Mumbai

Gaurav Choudhary, TinyOwl co-founder who was held hostage for over two days in its Pune office, has confirmed to MediaNama that he is on his way to Mumbai. He declined to comment on how he was able to leave the TinyOwl Pune office. Earlier this morning, MediaNama had been denied the opportunity of speaking with Choudhary in person, by employees present at the office, who said: “We don’t want the media (here). We don’t want you to report what’s going on or write about our demands. As a journalist, you have to sit with us instead of asking Choudhary questions when we’re not around.” TinyOwl, which had recently raised a fresh round of funding, is shutting offices in four of its six cities, and is laying off 112 people. An unconfirmed number of employees had also been laid off in September. Choudhary, who had gone to Pune to oversee the layoffs and the shutting of the Pune office, had been not allowed to leave the premises. He had called the police, claiming that he had been kidnapped, whereas the employees called local politicians to intervene on their behalf. Details of what transpired yesterday in our two part series: Part 1 and Part 2. Harshvardhan Mandad, CEO of TinyOwl, has issued a statement, which doesn't say anything about what happened in Pune: “Hoping to move towards a viable business model from a sustainability perspective, we have unfortunately had to make some difficult decisions in recent times. We understand it’s a tough time for all concerned employees and empathize with…

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I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

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