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Fintech Open Lays Off Staff and Slashes Founder’s Salaries

Fintech Open Lays Off Staff and Slashes Founder's Salaries

Temasek-backed fintech unicorn Open has laid off 47 employees, joining a long list of startups that have had to trim their workforce amid a tough macroeconomic environment through last and this year. 

The layoff comes as the Kerala-based company looks to “optimise its operations”, it said in a statement. 

Further, the company’s founders—Anish Achuthan, Mabel Chacko, Ajeesh Achuthan, and Deena Jacob—have taken a 50% pay cut, as the company aims to achieve profitability.  

Last year, co-founder Jacob told VCCircle the startup was aiming to turn profitable by FY25. The company hasn’t yet disclosed its financials for the year ending March 31. But its loss widened to Rs 167.6 crore in FY22 from a loss of Rs 65.6 crore in FY21, owing to higher expenditure. Operating revenue for FY22 was Rs 40.9 crore, up seven times from FY21. 

“Our recent staffing changes were driven solely by performance evaluations. We also ensured deserving high performers get 20%-30% average hikes and employee stock option plans,” said Achuthan.  

“We are actively hiring across critical functions such as growth marketing, product, and sales and are one of the very few startups with visibility on profitability and runway above 30 months to well face the market conditions.” 

Open offers a neo banking platform for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It allows enables financial institutions to launch SME neo-banking offerings for their customers 

The startup raised $50 million in a Series D funding round led by IIFL Finance in May last year. That took its valuation past $1 billion, doubling from the Series C fundraising in September 2021.  

Tiger Global, Temasek and 3one4 Capital also invested in the Series D round. Open also counts Visa, Beenext, Recruit Strategic Partners, Speedinvest, Tanglin Venture Partner, AngelList, and Unicorn India Ventures as its investors. 

Open joins dozens of startups that have laid off employees this year as venture capital firms tightened their purse strings after investing heavily in the last two years. Google-backed social media platform ShareChat, quick commerce firm Dunzo, Sequoia-backed Rebel Foods, SoftBank-backed Ola, and Tiger Global-backed industrial goods marketplace Moglix are among those who have reduced their headcount. Several ed-tech companies such as Byju’s, upGrad, Unacademy and Vedantu have also laid off staff to cut costs as schools and colleges restarted physical classes. 


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