Simpl to layoff 150 Employees – 25% Workforce

Image Courtesy - Simpl

Simpl, the buy now pay later startup, has announced layoffs affecting over 150 employees, according to sources who spoke to CNBC-TV18. The company cited overhiring based on the assumption that the demand for e-commerce seen during the pandemic would continue to grow, but is now taking corrective action.

In a letter to staffers on April 19, Nitya Sharma, CEO and Co-Founder of Simpl, expressed the difficult decision to reduce the company’s headcount and bid farewell to talented team members who have played a crucial role in the company’s journey.

Letter to the employees from the CEO

Dear Team,

I have some unfortunate news to share. After careful consideration, | have made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount and say goodbye to many talented team mates who have played a crucial role in getting us to where we are today.

For those of you leaving, Simpl is forever grateful for your contribution towards advancing our mission and I want to thank you for putting so much of your heart in the work we did together.

I am responsible for making this difficult decision and understand the gravity of its impact on each of you, particularly those of you who are impacted during these uncertain macroeconomic conditions. Our primary objective in the days ahead will be to assist those affected in moving forward. Although there is no perfect way to handle this situation, we are committed to offering the best possible financial, healthcare, and outplacement support to all the impacted individuals.

I will be sharing the broader context and the framework for making this decision, but first I want to discuss what you can expect today.

Today, we will all work remotely. This will help us focus and ensure we have conversations with everyone impacted and provide all possible support to them.

If you are impacted by this decision, you will receive a calendar invite for a 1-1 meeting shortly.

You will also not have access to company laptop, emails and slack. You will have limited access to your Simpl email and calendar on your personal laptop or your mobile device and will be able to join the Zoom call. I want you to know that these info-sec steps are taken just to ensure we stay in compliance with best practices w.r.t our data and information.

If you are not impacted by this decision, you will not receive such a calendar invite. Your access to emails, slack and other systems will continue to stay operational.

We will be completing 1-1’s with all our impacted team mates by 5pm today. At 6pm today, we will have a short all hands with any updates from the day. Followed by a Townhall & AMA at 11am on Thursday, April 20th.

For those leaving us today, you will have more details during your 1-1’s. This is not what we imagined when we were hiring you and I want you to know that we greatly value you as former colleagues and want to thank you again for being a part of this journey with us.

I want to share some broader context now.

After the first wave of COVID, between June-2020 to Jan-2022, we grew our business almost 10% with a lean 150 people team. In early 2022, we were optimistic about the growth of e-commerce in the near term, felt confident in our ability to execute against complex problems facing e-commerce growth and decided that we must lean in, hire fast and execute multiple initiatives at the same time to advance our mission of making e-commerce bigger, simpler, trusted and democratic.

The world is now changing, e-commerce growth has slowed down in the near term and we need to focus on doing a few things that our customers value extremely well. While we can’t fix the past, we have to take this corrective action to position the company for a stronger future.

This reduction in force is based on the following principles:


Our customers expect us to solve their biggest problems first. They also expect absolute excellence in execution. While we can do everything, we just can’t do everything at the same time. We therefore must reduce the initiatives that we are working on and focus on the most important needle moving projects on behalf of our customers. This will allow us to move faster, bring excellence in our execution and be true to our core value of “customer obsession”.

Small and Empowered Teams Move Mountains

One of the unintended consequences of bigger teams is that it dilutes ownership in execution. We have all been feeling that we move slow, have too many meetings and just spend more time discussing than executing.

A painful lesson we have learned is that the number of people in a team does not necessarily equate to faster or better execution. Going forward, we will be a leaner, focused team working on the most important customer priorities.

Long Term Horizon

We are catalysing a new version of e-commerce where any merchant can sell to their customers online and deliver the same user experience that is currently available on large marketplaces and platforms. We are building products, technologies and infrastructure that are required for a new version of e-commerce that is democratic and more trusted. This will take multiple decades, will require long term thinking and a sustainable cost model.

By being fiscally prudent, we are also making our business more resilient and giving us the opportunity to work on long term projects that may take slightly longer to show results.

Looking Forward

Today is going to be a painful day for all of us and much more so for our teammates who will be leaving us. But I believe that it is an important decision that we are taking to position ourselves to achieve our long term mission.

We will discuss this together on what this means for the company’s strategy during the Thursday townhall and over the coming week. Nothing changes with what our customers want or our overall opportunity. We will simply prioritise the most important initiatives for our customers and our business.

To our colleagues leaving Simpl today, please know that this decision is not a reflection of your potential. I understand that this is a challenging time for you, and we will do everything in our power to support you in your transition.

For the rest of our team, let’s focus on providing assistance to our impacted teammates as they move forward. In the coming week, we will regroup and work together to establish a path forward for our team. Simpl is a resilient company and this is another opportunity for us to focus on our long term success.


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