In recent years, layoffs have become a common occurrence in the business world. As the global economy continues to face financial challenges, organizations find themselves in a position where they need to make difficult decisions to sustain their operations. Such a scenario has left many employees feeling uncertain and anxious about their future, resulting in a surge in job insecurity.
One such company that recently announced layoffs is CityMall, the Gurugram-based retail giant, which laid off 191 employees on June 19th, 2022. The move affected around 30% of the organization’s workforce and came just a few months after the company’s series C funding round. In this blog, we will take a closer look at CityMall’s history, funding, layoffs, and performance, along with statements from company stakeholders on the layoffs.
CityMall is a retail tech company that operates as an aggregator of small retail stores. Founded in 2019 by Angad Kikla, Naisheel Verdhan, and Niti Gupta, the company aims to revolutionize the retail industry by empowering small businesses to operate at scale. CityMall’s platform enables small retailers to offer a seamless shopping experience, while also providing an online presence and access to a wider customer base. With CityMall, small retailers can compete with large retail chains and e-commerce platforms.
History and Funding:
CityMall’s journey began in 2019 when three young entrepreneurs came together to create a platform that could revolutionize the retail industry. The company quickly gained traction with customers, and its unique concept of aggregating smaller retailers into a single platform to offer a seamless shopping experience quickly gained popularity. CityMall raised a $3 million seed round in July 2020, which was followed by a $22 million Series B round in September 2021.
CityMall’s latest and most significant funding was a $75 million Series C round in late March 2022, led by LGT Lightstone, Falcon Edge Capital, and Proxima Ventures. The funding was to be utilized for expanding the platform’s reach in underserved regions and investing heavily in research and development. During the round, CityMall’s Co-founder, Angad Kikla, expressed that the company’s vision was to enable 10 million small retailers to operate at scale by 2026.
Performance and Layoffs:
At the time of the latest funding round, CityMall had more than 630 employees spread across India. In June 2022, the company abruptly laid off 191 employees, which represented around 30% of its workforce. The move was reportedly triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic slowdown, which has hit the retail sector hard. In a statement, the company said the layoffs were part of a broader restructuring effort aimed at optimizing its operations and maintaining long-term sustainability.
The layoffs took many by surprise, including CityMall’s employees, who were anxious and uncertain about their future. The announcement also sparked discussions on social media, with some criticizing the company’s sudden move while others sympathized with the employees affected by the layoffs.
Statement from Company Stakeholders:
In response to the layoffs, CityMall’s Co-founder and CEO, Naisheel Verdhan, issued a statement expressing his regret for the situation and acknowledging how difficult it is for employees when such decisions have to be made. He mentioned that CityMall remains committed to its vision of empowering small retailers, but it also has a responsibility to its investors and shareholders to maintain financial stability. The statement ended with an assurance of providing full support to the affected employees, including severance pay, counseling, and job placement assistance.
The retail industry is undergoing significant changes, and small retailers are struggling to keep up with the competition. In such a scenario, CityMall’s retail tech platform was seen as a game-changer. However, the recent layoffs and restructuring efforts have raised questions about the company’s ability to sustain its operations in a difficult economic environment. While the layoffs were undoubtedly a challenging decision, it remains to be seen how CityMall will bounce back and continue its journey of empowering small retailers.