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BNPL Startup Simpl announces more layoffs amid cash crunch

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Startup Simpl Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) has announced layoffs. It comes just a month after a significant drive to cut staff and force a hiring freeze as the company struggles with heavy cash losses and seeks profitability.

The recent round of layoffs, which was part of a strategic restructuring initiative to manage headcount to control operating costs, affected thirty employees. The severance package offered includes a pro rata fixed salary up to the date of termination along with a fixed salary for a two month notice period as set out in the employment contract. In addition, employees will receive an additional 15 days of fixed salary for each year of service with the company, rounded to the nearest whole number.

«This decision to lay off 30 of our employees is a continuation of our organization-wide drive to become a fiscally prudent company and achieve profitability by mid-2025,» said Ashish Kulshrestha, Head of Communications at Simpl.

Last month, Simpl took a similar cut affecting more than 100 employees as part of its cost-cutting strategy. According to LinkedIn data, the company has more than 600 employees.

In response to the financial challenges, CEO Nitya Sharma outlined a new strategic direction for the fintech company, with particular emphasis on its Pay Later product. «Pay Later will be the basis of our future strategy. We will focus on one product and make it insanely great,” Sharma said in an email to employees.

The company also announced the enforcement of a hiring freeze and pledged to explore other avenues to cut costs.

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Known for offering interest-free Pay Later services, three installment repayment options, utility bill payments and a one-click checkout network with over 26,000 brands, Simpl has been affected by regulatory measures implemented by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). These measures aim to moderate credit expansion, particularly in unsecured consumer credit, by introducing stricter capital adequacy standards for banks and non-bank financial companies. In addition, the RBI has decided to restrict non-bank lending activities conducted through prepaid payment instruments such as prepaid cards and digital wallets.

The regulatory environment has forced BNPL players such as Simpl to reassess and adjust their business models. Simpl’s competitor, ZestMoney, went out of business in December of the previous year, laying off the remaining 150 employees.

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