Cab aggregators startup, VAOO, fires four employees amid lockdown

MUMBAI: VAOO, a cab-aggregator firm backed by former cricketer Kapil Dev, has laid off four of its employees amid the lockdown for coronavirus, citing financial difficulties.

The Union and various state governments have asked companies not to sack employees or cut their salaries during the 21-day nationwide lockdown.

The startup, which had reportedly raised $15 million from investors including Dev last year, offers free rides to users for watching targeted ads. It had claimed that some 15,000 cabs were registered with it.

However, six days ago it sacked four employees from Mumbai office which has a staff of 45. Harshad Tiwari and three others received the pink slip a week ago.

“We are downsizing the company due to economic reasons and thus forced to lay-off your employment,” the email read. When contacted, the company’s Human Resources head Monica Kumar confirmed the development.

“We are facing some financial difficulties, because of which payment of salaries of several employees is pending since February,” she said. Employees were being asked to leave as financial condition was bad, she added.

Tiwari, one of the sacked employees, said, “I was associated with VAOO as a field executive for the last nine months. I am still waiting for two months’ salary.” He had approached Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office through Twitter, bringing to attention his plight, he said.


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