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Helpchat fired 150 of their employees and shut down its chat wing services

Helpchat a personal assistant platform has fired 150 of its employees as shutting down chat wing of the business. It has confirmed about the firing news but not sharing the number of employees fired. Fired employees were a part of chat operations and quality team. they are further being offered a 3 months severance package.

Now helpchat is left with a team of 350+ employees. This was the 2nd round of firing, the first one was held in October 2015 by firing 112 employees. Employees have stated that main reason for firing was shortage of funds.

Ankur Singla, Founder and CEO, Helpchat, said,

“It is supposed to be tough, the toughest of all was the decision regarding our chat operations team. We have taken the decision to let go of most of our chat colleagues. We looked at the retention cohorts or uninstall cohorts for all our chat users but they were always much worse than others. No matter which way we looked at it, it made sense for us to take this decision.”

He further added

“We’ve given a 3-months’ severance package to everyone who was let go and we will do our best to help them find new jobs. I’m working with our HR team on this and we have already roped in 12 startups and big companies for out-placing them into the right job profiles.”

According to numerous sources, it is claimed that helpchat initially offered for 1 month severage package, after facing threats from the fired employees on reaching the media, Helpchat agreed for a 3 months severage package.

There has been multiple changes in the company in last year. Akosha initially a complaint resolution platform had pivoted last year to chat based personal assistant. Haptik has accused Akosha ( helpchat ) of cloning their app.

In May 2015 Helpchat raised a funding on Rs 100 crore in its series B round from Ru-Net and Sequoia Capital. They were providing 50k sessions a day by July. It also raised $5 million as series A round funding from Morpheus Accelerator. Trifecta Capital Advisors LLP has also invested an undisclosed amount in Helpchat.

Ankur Singla further explain that

“the failure of users to get used to the chat interface, repeated attempts to re-imagine chat by introducing a NLP-based chat bot, and the fact that the number of taps required to get anything done was just way too many, forced them to come to a decision to completely shut it down.”

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