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  • Khushboo Pareek

Koo halts April salaries of employees amid fund crunch

Twitter clone Koo is facing a setback as it suspends salary disbursements to its workforce for the month of April, owing reportedly to its inability to secure a suitable acquisition partner.

Initially voiced by co-founder Mayank Bidawatka in September 2023, Koo's ambition to expand its reach and operations encountered hurdles amid a challenging investment landscape for start-ups. 

In a LinkedIn update posted on Thursday, Bidawakta said that the company has exhausted every avenue to prolong its financial runway, prioritising the timely payment of employees and vendors.

"Koo remains operational. It’s very well built and a fully automated product that needs little manual intervention to function. There’s a proud team that stands behind it, irrespective of where they are today," he said.

Bidawakta said that both founders, Aprameya Radhakrishna and himself, have injected a significant sum from their own pockets to ensure March salaries are covered for the employees.

"This way everyone could sustain without having to look for a job at a time when the hiring across start-ups is at its all-time low. The delay in the partnership hurts everyone without an exception but it’s a process that’s taken its own time," he said.

Koo, once hailed as India's answer to microblogging giant X (formerly Twitter), gained attention when several Indian ministers embraced the platform during tensions with X amid the farmers' protest in early 2021.

Sporting a similar user interface, Koo has been facing challenges since the last year amid a tough funding environment, resulting in a 30 per cent reduction in its workforce of 260 as of April last year.

Bidawatka revealed in September the company was pursuing fundraising or strategic partnerships to bolster its operations. With backing from investors like Tiger Global Management, Accel India, 3one4 Capital, Mirae Asset, and Blume Ventures, Koo has amassed over $65 million in funding so far.

Image source: Wikipedia


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