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TinyOwl lays off 112 employees, shuts operations in 4 cities

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TinyOwl, the Mumbai based online food delivery startup, will be laying off another 112 employees in the sales function across India. This is the second round of layoffs at TinyOwl this year, after it laid off around 160 employees in September. As of now, TinyOwl’s focus will be to build a sustainable, profitable and scalable business. It will shut down its operations in 4 cities (unspecified) and move to the e-sales platform ‘to support customer needs, supply and logistics’.

The company will concentrate its talent on tech operations, ‘given the margins in the food business are thin as compared to other online marketplaces’, Harshvardhan Mandad, co-founder of TinyOwl, told ET. The company has confirmed the development to MediaNama. ET adds that TinyOwl will now have 650 employees, however, we’re unable to confirm this number independently. It is also piloting a new operational structure in Mumbai and Bangalore, where it is automating order processing and delivery.

On its blog, Mandad said that it restructured to increase efficiency and productivity in the best interests of the company’s vision and longer run. The company will optimise its current resources and look for better business management, calling the layoffs an unfortunate step in sustainability and growth. In September, the company said that the layoffs from its Mumbai and Pune offices were made on a strategic level to increase productivity, efficiency and redirect its focus.

Funding and expansion plans
– Last week, TinyOwl raised ~$7.6 million (Rs 50 crore) in funding led by Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners, to optimise its resources, restructure business operations and align last mile delivery. The company confirmed the funding but did not provide additional details.

– In February, it raised ~$15 million (Rs 100 crore) in funding from multiple investors. At that time, it had 400 employees and was planning to roll out operations in 50 cities in India by the end of the year.

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– It had also raised $3 million in a series A round of funding from Nexus and Sequoia Capital last year. (Read about why scaling up would be an uphill task here.)

Dishes feature, Citrus tie up
TinyOwl launched its Dishes feature in June and expanded to Chennai in July. Earlier this month, the company tied up with Citrus to offer a wallet service in the former’s app to make payments and get instant refunds. Mandad said that customers faced ‘major dissatisfaction’ over refund challenges across industries, prompting it to make this move. As of now, the platform claims to take around 3,000-5,000 orders everyday and cover 4,500 restaurants.

Written By

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.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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