In their exclusive piece, VCCircle claimed that the company has asked many senior members of the editorial team to leave and about eight people from the core news team and six from the design team have been laid off. However, Sattvik Mishra, the co-founder and chief executive officer of ScoopWhoop, denied the rumours and said the move was a performance review exercise. He further added that it is just a six-month exercise that they do at ScoopWhoop. This is what he had to say:
“This rumour of 60-70 people (being laid off) is not true. We actually let go of about 10 people horizontally from a team of about 170. So, it is less than a 2% churn. So, I don’t know how this qualifies as a layoff. From (the) news (department), only three people were asked to go. (Overall), only 10-12 people were asked to leave. In fact, we are hiring more people. It is not like we are cutting down on costs.”
“There was a specialist team of about 3-4 people who were looking at only politics and we felt we needed to merge that with the large editorial team and that is what has happened.”
ScoopWhoop founded in 2013 by Mishra, Sriparna Tikekar, Rishi Pratim Mukherjee, Debarshi Banerjee, Saransh Singh and Suparn Pandey, all alumni of Indian Institute of Mass Communication, is now facing losses. The data from the research platform of News Corp VCCircle, VCCEdge, shows that for the financial year 2016-17, ScoopWhoop reported losses of Rs 11.2 crore compared to Rs 6.4 crore in the previous financial year.
ScoopWhoop’s statement to People Matters said, "We have made a few changes across all levels at ScoopWhoop to ensure we remain efficient, nimble and focused on areas that will deliver on our vision. After a rigorous evaluation process, we have identified certain content genres that are no longer the focus in our next growth chapter. However, less than 10% of our workforce has been affected by this move. In fact we are in the process of creating new content categories and to support this we will be reinforcing the team with the relevant talent. We appreciate the contribution of the outgoing employees to ScoopWhoop and remain committed to extending full support and utmost respect as they transition to new opportunities outside the Company."
The media firm known for its viral articles, quirky content and fun videos had raised $1.4 million from Bharti Softbank in 2014 and $4 million from Kalaari Capital in 2015.