Around 750 WhiteHat Jr employees have reportedly resigned after being asked to return to the office.

Reportedly, an estimated 750 employees of WhiteHat Jr have resigned over a period of the last sixty after being asked to work from the office. The decision to end ‘work from home’ was announced in a company-wide email on March 18. The company asked all its remote employees to return to the office by April 18, giving them one month to relocate.

Founded by Karan Bajaj in 2018; WhiteHat Jr is an Indian ed-tech startup and online tutoring firm that teaches coding to kids via one-to-one live video classes. It was acquired by BYJU’S for USD$300 million in 2020.

Byju's Buys WhiteHat Jr in $300m all-in-cash deal | Analytics Steps

According to the Inc42 report, resignations came from full-time employees of the sales, coding, and math teams. The report hints that more employees will be quitting in the upcoming months. One of the resigned employees said, “Some have kids, some have aged and sick parents, while others have other responsibilities. It is not right to call back employees in such a short period.”

According to people familiar with the matter, the salary was another factor that prompted employees to quit. Although the start-up had informed employees about their job location when they were hired, they believed they deserved a pay hike for relocating to these expensive cities.

Another former employee alleged that the ‘return to office’ policy could be the company’s cost-cutting measure as they were running in losses.

While in a statement to Inc42, WhiteHat Jr. said, “As part of our back-to-work drive, most of our Sales and Support employees have been asked to report to Gurgaon and Mumbai offices from April 18. We have made exceptions for medical and personal exigencies and have offered relocation assistance as required. Our teachers will continue to work from home,”.

In fact, several start-ups have let go of people in recent months. Unacademy, Vedantu, Furlenco, Meesho, etc. are among those who are understood to have downsized their workforce.

According to industry experts, India’s edtech industry boomed right after the pandemic forced physical institutions to shut their doors. This benefitted India’s edtech firms, which clocked a massive increase in user base. According to a report by Tata Elxsi, the edtech giant Byju’s added 7.5 million new users during the lockdown, while Toppr saw a 100 percent increase in the paid subscriber base. These edtech startups also saw an uptick in funding during the same time. Between January 2020 and December 2021, the startups raised a total funding of $6.1 billion.

But the bubble had to burst. With schools reopening at full capacity earlier this year and other educational institutions bouncing back to normalcy, the relevance of edtech firms began to fade away. Moreover, investors also began to tighten their purse strings, causing edtech firms to cut their costs.