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Koo fires 30% staff on funding crunch

Koo, a Twitter Inc rival in India, has fired almost a third of its employees in recent months as the firm struggles with losses and an inability to raise funds.

The three-year-old microblogging app dismissed 30% of its about 260 workers as the “global sentiment right now is more focused on efficiency than growth and businesses need to work toward proving unit economics,” a spokesperson for the company, backed by Tiger Global, said in a reply to queries by Bloomberg News.

Initially, the Bengaluru-based company benefited from Twitter’s spat with the Indian authorities over the content on its platform as many citizens, including government officials, cricket stars and Bollywood celebrities flocked to Koo as a local alternative. However, the current struggle to access cash comes amid a global rout for technology companies and depressed investment activity that has slashed billions from valuations of once high-flying startups.

Koo, with more than 60 million downloads, is “well capitalized,” and the company is striving to become profitable with monetization experiments, Co-founder Mayank Bidawatka said in an interview. It also has one of the highest revenue per user among other social media companies currently, he added.

The company, which also counts Accel and Kalaari Capital among its investors, had raised funds at a valuation of $273 million last year, according to research firm Tracxn.

The startup has supported the dismissed employees through compensation packages, extended health benefits and aid in finding new jobs, the spokesperson said. Bloomberg

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