You might have heard of food delivery apps like Grubhub, Seamless, Doordash, and Uber Eats. But you probably haven't heard of their international rival Swiggy ($PRIVATE:SWIGGY), India's biggest food ordering platform. But after its billion-dollar valuation from a fundraising round 18 months ago from the likes of Tencent, you should be paying attention to everything Swiggy does in the future.
Unfortunately for Swiggy employees, that future happens to involve over a thousand layoffs. It seems that a global pandemic isn't great for business, especially not one that involves human contact, food, multiple continents, and shifting amounts of supplies and costs.
"The biggest impact here is on the Cloud kitchens business, with many unknowns about volumes through the year. Since the onset of Covid-19, we have already begun the process of shutting down our kitchen facilities temporarily or permanently, depending on their outlook and profitability profile," said Sriharsha Majety, co-founder and CEO of Swiggy.
What would losing 1,100 employees do to Swiggy? Ultimately, it's going to reduce the number of places it operates in, the number of restaurants/ghost kitchens it utilizes, and the number of people it serves.
From our LinkedIn data, roughly 12,300 people list Swiggy as their employer. With the announced layoffs, 9% of the workforce would be cut. Compared to 13% of the Zomato workforce being laid off, its competitor in the space, the entire industry has to reckon with COVID-19 for years to come.
The Facebook 'Talking About' count for Swiggy is (sadly) the right indicator of what happened. The start of 2020 saw incredible buzz online about the brand, but slowly as the Coronavirus spread around the world, the numbers just kept dropping. From January to June, discussion on Facebook dropped 99%.
But that doesn't mean people stopped caring about Swiggy, because thousands clearly went to the startup's Twitter account looking for answers on how safe it was to deliver, if deliveries were still happening, and more. Swiggy's Twitter following increased by 12.5% this year alone.
And finally, while the Swiggy layoffs were the big news, our Apple App Store data still shows people are reviewing the app and liking it quite a bit. There's just no stopping people from ordering food, especially if they don't want to go out, but the business will be forever changed because of this pandemic.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.