Unacademy founders take a pay cut, pledge an IPO in two years

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Unacademy, one of India’s high-profile startups, is undertaking several cost-cutting measures including salary reduction for founders and shutting down “certain businesses” as it pledges to become frugal and a public company in two years.

In a company-wide Slack post on Monday, Unacademy co-founder and chief executive Gaurav Munjal said the startup had $352.33 million in the bank, but he feels the startup is in a “bad state,” and “not efficient” with handling finances.

“We are well capitalised but still we want our businesses to be profitable,” he wrote in the email.

The message comes as most tech stocks globally have shredded more than half of their value in recent months and investors are increasingly demanding improved finances from startups and become highly selective about writing new checks.

Online learning giant Unacademy, valued at over $3.4 billion, is planning a number of cost-cutting measures, including putting restrictions on business class travel, salary cut for founders and management, and pulling meals and snacks as complimentary perk at the startup.

“[…] We are not efficient at all. We spend crores on travel for employees and educators. Sometimes it’s needed, sometimes it’s not. There are a lot of unnecessary expenses that we do. We must cut all these expenses. We have a strong core business. We must turn profitable asap,” he wrote.

Unacademy is also shutting down “certain businesses” such as Global Test Prep that have failed to find product market fit, Munjal wrote in the message, which was reviewed by TechCrunch.

“Now all of these changes might make it seem that we are in a bad state. Trust me. We are not. We are in a great state. This is the final frontier that we have to conquer. Profitability. And once we do, it will change the game for us. We are well capitalised but still we want our businesses to be profitable. And it will take Unacademy Group to a different league,” he wrote.

Unacademy tells employees to focus on profitability at all costs to ‘survive the winter’

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