Temasek-backed start-up Zilingo cuts 12% more jobs as online fashion shopping plummets

Co-founders Ankiti Bose (above) and Dhruv Kapoor said the leadership team of Zilingo has taken a pay cut of at least 30 per cent.
Co-founders Ankiti Bose (above) and Dhruv Kapoor said the leadership team of Zilingo has taken a pay cut of at least 30 per cent.PHOTO: ZILINGO

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Zilingo, a fashion tech platform backed by Temasek Holdings, has cut an additional 12 per cent of its global workforce as it extends cost-cutting measures to deal with Covid-19 fallout, according to a blog post.

The latest cuts come on top of a 5 per cent headcount reduction around April. The company helps small fashion outlets across South and South-east Asia get online, market and deliver their goods, but it said the coronavirus outbreak has already led to a quarter of those businesses closing doors.

To rein in its own costs, Zilingo is downsizing marketing, sourcing and support teams in the US, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia. The leadership team is taking a 30 per cent pay cut, most employees will shift to working from home at least part of the time and some regional offices will be let go or sublet, the Singapore-based start-up said.

About 11 employees in Singapore were told to go at the end of June, after 35 were let go in the first wave of cuts, The Business Times reported, quoting sources.

“While we have been so focused on expanding margins, it is equally important for us to cut down costs to ensure long term profitability in times where it is hard to predict the future,” co-founders Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor said in the post for employees. “We believe a global economic recovery will take a year or more.”

Technology companies across the globe have been shedding workers since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic in March. In Asia, Grab, Gojek and Oyo Hotels are among the largest start-ups to have culled staff in significant number. A tracker maintained at Layoffs.fyi estimates that 524 start-ups have cut close to 70,000 jobs as of July.

Zilingo, which was valued at US$960 million in early 2019, in April cut 44 positions from a workforce of about 900, Bloomberg News reported.