Indian scooter-sharing startup Bounce announced company-wide salary cuts to keep the business afloat in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
The startup’s three founders – Vivekananda Hallekere, Varun Agni, and Anil Giriraj – will all be taking a 100% pay cut. The rest of the employees have agreed to a 20% to 60% pay cut in exchange for employee stock ownership plans.
“Taking these pay cuts across the company ensures that no jobs are lost […] and the company improves its runway to over 30 months,” Bounce said in a statement.
The company said the move was part of its business continuity plan, as it expects the pandemic to slow down the investment scenario and affect operational cash flow. It aims to conserve cash while keeping its team intact.
“The underlying idea behind this decision is that everyone in the organization takes the impact equally and not direct it at a few,” the company said. “Bounce aims to withstand these tough times together, with all its employees.”
The firm looks to reinstate the original salary and pay due compensation as soon as things get back to normal.
The startup is rather well-funded. Last month, it raised USD 6.5 million from InnoVen Capital. In January, it bagged USD 105 million in a Series D funding round led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group and Accel. The round reportedly gave Bounce a valuation of USD 520 million.
As the outbreak persists, other startups in the region have also made similar measures. Indonesia’s Gojek said its co-CEOs and senior management would donate 25% of their annual salary to support its drivers, merchants, and other partners. Grab’s senior leaders, meanwhile, will take a pay cut of up to 20%.
India’s Zomato has earlier announced that its employees have voluntarily taken deep salary cuts to help conserve the company’s cash flow.
India is currently on a 21-day lockdown, forcing people to stay at home and many businesses to suspend operations.
This article first appeared in Tech in Asia.