Digital insurance startup Acko lays off 45 employees, cuts leadership pay

Digital insurance startup Acko lays off 45 employees, cuts leadership pay
Photo Credit: VCCircle
2 Apr, 2020

Digital general insurance provider Acko has laid off 45 employees as some of its business lines have been impacted in the backdrop of “unprecedented times,” according to a company statement on Thursday.

“Some business lines have been impacted and we don’t see them recovering for a long time and we’ve been forced to rationalise in those areas and consolidate a few teams and roles,” the statement said.

The company declined to comment on which business lines were impacted.

However, Entrackr reported earlier on Thursday, citing anonymous sources, that the layoffs are mostly across operations and marketing functions, and were a result of advice from the company’s investors. 

“We are ensuring that every type of support is extended to our impacted colleagues including continuing insurance for them and their families,” the company said.

Prior to the job cuts, the company had about 480 employees.

Separately, the leadership team at the Bengaluru-based startup has taken deep voluntary salary cuts, between the range of 50-70%, the statement added.

The company will also optimise other expense areas, it said, clarifying that these would make for one time measures to prepare for potentially long periods of slowdown or interruptions.

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Founded in 2016 by Varun Dua, Acko provides insurance policy products with personalised pricing based on customer behaviour and data analytics through its digital platform. 

Read: Acko’s Varun Dua on disrupting the insurance market with technology and innovation

A heavily-funded player in the space, it has raised a total of $107 million in funding till date from venture capital firms including Narayan Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures, Accel, SAIF Partners, RPS Ventures and Intact Ventures, apart from entities such as e-commerce giant Amazon, Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal. 

In February, the company had appointed former Google engineering executive Vishwanath Ramarao to head technology and products at the firm. In July 2019, it made a number of appointments across departments including human resources, marketing, partnerships and operations, to strengthen its leadership.