Swiggy to cull another 350 jobs, scale grocery and hyperlocal delivery businesses

Swiggy to cull another 350 jobs, scale grocery and hyperlocal delivery businesses
Photo Credit: VCCircle
28 Jul, 2020

Two months after laying off 1,100 employees, online food delivery unicorn Swiggy on Tuesday said it would let go of an additional 350 staffers in a final restructure of its pandemic-affected business.

The food delivery industry, Swiggy said, has only recovered about 50% of its peak.

The impacted employees will be provided with a severance package that includes three-eight months salary as per tenure and ex gratia pay, accelerated vesting of ESOPs, extension of health insurance and outplacement services, a Swiggy spokesperson said in a statement.

In May, the Bengaluru based startup began its cost-cutting exercise to create capacity in higher potential areas, with the optimism of the business attaining pre-covid levels in the near term, it said.

Employees across functions and cities were affected by the layoffs at the time. The Bundl Technologies-run company also aimed to reduce indirect costs of office infrastructure, while scaling down adjacent businesses such as cloud kitchens.

The company has now placed stakes on a strategy shift to push the penetration of digital commerce, grocery home delivery and hyperlocal delivery businesses.

“... we have scaled up our grocery delivery and Swiggy Genie across cities, partnered with authorities to support benevolent causes, raised funds for our delivery partners and introduced initiatives like Jumpstart to assist our restaurant partners,” the spokesperson added.

In April, Swiggy expanded to 125 cities its grocery delivery services, a business it piloted in Gurugram in February 2019. The service was subsequently scaled under the ‘Stores’ tab on its app. It also revamped its offering Swiggy Go by launching a hyperlocal delivery service Genie in over 15 cities in April.

In May, Swiggy reportedly forayed into the B2B segment, supplying groceries, meat and vegetables, along with packaging material, to its restaurant partners on credit. The product offering was called Swiggy Staples Plus.

The unicorn last raised capital in May, when Samsung Ventures, the investment arm of the electronics device maker Samsung, invested about $1.8 million in an ongoing growth funding round.

Returning investors Prosus -- the international internet assets division of South African technology conglomerate Naspers -- Meituan-Dianping and Wellington Management invested $112.5 million in the round in February. In December, it received $1 billion in a funding round led by Naspers.

Swiggy witnessed a 182% year-on-year increase in revenue as it expanded to 520 cities and signed up 1.6 lakh restaurant partners in the financial year 2019-2020, a Naspers annual report showed last month.

Revenues from Swiggy’s private brand business was comparable to top 10 food brands in India, Naspers said at the time.

In May, Alibaba-backed food delivery platform Zomato also announced its plans to lay off 13% of its 4,000-strong workforce, among other cost-cutting measures, to tide over the Covid-19 crisis.

There has been significant activity in the foodtech sector in May.

While rivals Swiggy and Zomato have been battling the Covid-19 crisis over the past few months, global ecommerce giant Amazon is testing waters in India’s food delivery space with a soft launch in May.