PharmEasy falls into difficult times, lays off employees for the second time this year

PharmEasy falls into difficult times, lays off employees for the second time this year
  • Mumbai-based healthtech startup PharmEasy delayed its plans to go for an IPO in August 2022.
  • It has now laid off employees across certain verticals like product technology and quality analytics, among others, says an Inc24 report.
  • Over 18,000 employees have been laid off by 52 startups and unicorns in India.

Mumbai-based Indian e-pharmacy startup PharmEasy is going through a funding crunch and consequently, has laid off more employees according to a report by Inc42. The number of employees laid off is not known.

According to Inc42, the layoffs were attributed to factors like restructuring, macroeconomic headwinds, and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. The report also stated that the majority of affected employees worked in product technology, quality analytics, and support verticals.

This comes just months after PharmEasy laid off 40 full-time employees from its subsidiary Docon Technologies in June 2022. Docon Technologies is an EMR or electronic medical record solutions provider.

With this PharmEasy joins the long list of companies that have laid off employees in 2022, both globally and in India. This includes tech giants like Twitter, Meta, and Amazon. Indian startups like BYJU'S, Unacademy, and Swiggy too went in for retrenchment.

Cancelled IPO and debt-funding


When PharmEasy first laid off employees in June, it was planning to go for an IPO. However, two months later, in August, it delayed its plans to raise money from the public. API Holdings, the parent entity of PharmEasy, stated "market conditions and strategic considerations” as the reasons for the same.

As per reports, the health tech startup was aiming to raise ₹6,250 crore via its IPO to pre-pay or repay debt, fuel organic growth initiatives and fund inorganic growth via acquisitions.

In November 2022, the company raised an undisclosed amount in debt from growth-stage financing platform EvolutionX Debt Capital. This was the financing platform’s maiden investment.

Funding winter and rising layoffs

In the midst of a funding winter and rising layoffs, the magic of the Indian unicorn appears to be fading. As per Inc42, over 18,000 employees have been laid off by 52 startups and unicorns in India, including Ola, Cars24, Meesho, Vedantu, Udaan and more.

During the July-September period, PwC India stated that only two startups in India, Shiprocket and OneCard, attained unicorn status which are startups with a valuation of $1 billion and above.

According to a Venture Pulse report, the total value of VC deals in the September ending quarter stood at $2.7 billion — which fell sequentially and as compared to the year before. The total value of VC deals in Q3, 2021 stood at $15.9 billion, while that of Q2 2022 stood at $7.4 billion.

(With inputs from IANS)

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