SaaS startup Exotel lays off 80 employees

By Sujata Sangwan
January 19, 2023, Updated on : Thu Jan 19 2023 12:38:20 GMT+0000
SaaS startup Exotel lays off 80 employees
As per the official statement, there was no severance pay offered to employees who were let go due to performance reasons.
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Bengaluru-based full-stack B2B customer engagement platform and virtual telecom operator Exotel has laid off 80 employees.

“While 45 people, less than 5%, have been affected as a consequence of the performance improvement planning process, and 3% of our employees were affected by the restructuring, that is around 35 employees were actually let go,” Exotel Co-founder and CEO Shivakumar Ganesan told YourStory in a statement.

“Exotel is an employee-first organisation, and any difficult choice that affects our people is our last resort. Some of our employees have been let go post the mid-year review as part of the performance improvement planning process, which is a standard method to track and guide business performance,” he said.

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As per the official statement, there was no severance pay offered to employees who were let go due to performance reasons. 

“Employees who did not achieve the level of performance expected were notified in advance to make efforts to meet the company’s standards before a final decision was made,” added Shivakumar.

Founded in 2011, Exotel’s began as a platform offering communication APIs for enterprises in emerging markets to engage with customers through voice chats. After recent acquisitions of Ameyo and Cogno AI, Exotel has expanded its offering to include an omnichannel cloud contact centre and conversational AI products to become a full-stack provider of customer engagement tools.  


“Exotel is a cash positive business and we are experiencing steady growth in an uncertain economic environment. Following the merger with Ameyo and the acquisition of Cogno AI in 2021, we have experienced the usual immediate constraints any business would go through when realigning synergies. However, now Exotel as an entity is unified and stronger than ever,” Shivakumar stated.


Exotel is currently present in over 60 countries, including India, SE Asia, the Middle East, Africa. and Latin America. The company has more than 6,000 subscribers across these regions and its platform handles over 50 million daily engagements across voice, video, SMS, and chat channels. Notable customers include HDFC Bank, Flipkart, BYJU’S, Zomato, Ola, Zerodha, and Shiprocket. 


“Currently, we are in a high-growth phase and by choice, we are investing into our people, product, and expansion. All of these activities do involve a high degree of expenditure but they will culminate in favourable outcomes,” Shivakumar highlighted.


This year, Exotel is planning on expanding its product offerings to more markets and position it as a full-stack provider of cloud communications tools. 


“We are also continuously hiring for new roles and are looking to source fresh hires across functions,” Shivakumar said. “While our sights are on an IPO, when that is would be determined by many factors at that given time. Our immediate focus at the moment is on the business growth as well as expanding to new geographies.”


Exotel has raised approximately $100 million in total in the last 15 months across multiple debt and equity rounds, with $40 million coming from a Series D round in January 2022, led by Steadview Capital. The startup is backed by marquee investors including A91 Partners, Blume Ventures, Sistema, and IIFL Asset Management.


Edited by Megha Reddy

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