VerSe Innovation lays off 150, announces pay cuts

The parent company of Dailyhunt and Josh is trying to cut costs

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VerSe Innovation — the parent company of Dailyhunt, the news aggregator and Josh, the short-video platform, and the operator of the PublicVibe, the hyperlocal video app —has laid off five per cent of its workforce. That means, about 150 people have been rendered jobless amidst the Company’s efforts to cut costs and ensure viability of the business in the long term.

The Company, which has a 3,000-strong workforce, has also decided to impose pay cuts in a bid to achieve profitable growth in the long run. Therefore, those earning Rs 10 lakh or more annually, will have to let go 11 per cent of their salary.

It was in 2020 that the Company had rolled out Josh, after TikTok was banned in India.

It has been only about seven months since VerSe had raised $805 million at a valuation of $5 billion in a round led by CPP Investments, which had invested $425 million. Sumeru Ventures, Luxor Capital and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board were the other new investors that had participated in the round along with existing investors, Sofina Group and Baillie Gifford.

According to Umang Bedi, co-founder, VerSe, these drastic measures had to be taken as part of an exercise to “streamline costs and teams”. Given the economic conditions, the Company has decided to evaluate its strategies and priorities, to ensure business sustainability.

In FY 2022, the Company incurred net loss of Rs 2,556 crore, which was more than the loss of Rs 822 incurred in the previous fiscal.

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