Bengaluru-basedhas allegedly laid off 200 employees across divisions, with India Lifestyle Network (ILN) being the most affected, according to a report by Moneycontrol. However, the company has issued a clarification, saying the number of affected employees is fewer than 30.
A Mensa Brands spokesperson told YourStory, “ILN is committed to providing the best content to its consumers and industry-leading services to its client partners. To enhance efficiency post-integration, we restructured some teams that impacted a few positions. This activity affected less than 30 team members in ILN and there have been no layoffs in other parts of Mensa. We are fully dedicated to supporting those affected by providing each of them up to 3 months salary, extended health insurance and support in finding new roles.”
The downsizing at the unicorn comes at a time when several investors and market players have flagged signs of a slowdown in the roll-up ecommerce market. Mensa Brands has a total team strength of 750-800 employees.
ILN, earlier a part of Times Internet, was acquired by Mensa in December, after which companies like MensXP, iDiva, and Hypp became part of its growing portfolio.
Founded by Ananth Narayanan in 2021, the company follows a ‘house of brands’ strategy through which it acquires several direct-to-consumer brands earning revenue up to $10 million and earns from the operations of these firms. The company has more than 25 D2C brands in its portfolio.
It spent $88.5 million (Rs 670 crore) in acquisitions in FY22, Entrackr reported. Mensa’s loss stood at $16.41 million (Rs 135 crore) while it logged a revenue of $41.2 million (Rs 310 crore) in FY22 in its first year of operations.
Between October 2021 and December 2022, the Tiger Global-backed company acquired at least 17 companies but has decelerated its acquisition spree after that. MyFitness, Dennis Lingo, and Villain are among Mensa’s notable acquisitions.
With the latest decision, Mensa joins a growing list of new-age companies that have been firing employees as they look to become a leaner team, increase efficiencies and extend their cash runway as investors demand startups to become profitable.
Several large startups like Meesho, Swiggy, ShareChat and more have also let go of hundreds of employees as they pave their path toward profitability.
(This story was updated with Mensa Brands’ statement.)