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Quikr retrenches 2,000, discontinues 'AtHomeDiva' services

New Delhi

21-December-2019

 Bengaluru-based online classifieds marketplace Quikr has discontinued "AtHomeDiva" beauty services and laid off nearly 2,000 people from various verticals, according to a media report.

While the company didn't confirm the number of retrenched people, it told IANS on Saturday that it recently decided to tweak the operating model, which resulted in some "workforce rationalisation" and "discontinuation of AtHomeDiva services".

"Due to our cross-category model, we get a good view of comparative economics of various categories we operate in. Based on this, we recently decided to tweak the operating model in some of our categories, including a change in related market offerings. These changes have resulted in some workforce rationalisation at our end & discontinuation of AtHomeDiva services," Quikr said in a statement.

However, according to a report in Inc42 on Friday, the mass layoff that started in November 2018 and ended on Friday, is an outcome of a scam in which three employees allegedly forged business transactions to fictitious clients to earn millions in commission. The scam led to a loss of Rs 20 crore for the company, it said.

"Certain anomalies have come to our notice in our paying guest transaction business involving employees and we are working with external parties for legal action against all the parties involved. We may not be able to disclose more information as it may hamper the investigation," Quikr said in a statement.

Quikr has retrenched employees from cars and bikes, jobs, Quikr Realty and Quikr homes verticals across India, according to the report.

Due to this, the strength of the Bengaluru team got reduced to 1,500 from 2,700, while the Pune team headcount has come down to 32 from 170. Large layoffs were also seen in Delhi and Mumbai, said the report citing multiple sources.

Quikr's investors include Tiger Global Management, Kinnevik, Warburg Pincus, Matrix Partners India, Norwest Venture Partners, NGP Capital, Steadview Capital, Omidyar Network.

Quikr unlocked a strategy of operating online-to-offline (O2O) transactional models. Used by over 30 million unique users a month, Quikr is present in 1,200 cities in India and operates several large classifieds businesses across multiple verticals such as cars, education, homes, jobs, and services.

Quikr said its goods vertical, QuikrBazaar has over 30 outlets in non-metros and metros along with a few additional stores planned in states like Maharashtra, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh for more offline stores sometime in 2020.

Adding to this, QuikrJobs as a category has been profitable too, the company said.IANS