Malaysia’s first tech unicorn Carsome to lay off staff

The Southeast Asian e-commerce leader Shopee has been on a firing spree since July of this year, affecting its workers in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and even China, according to a report published just one week ago by a local news media. But Shopee’s decision is not an unusual one; in fact, layoffs and even cut-backs on hiring have affected virtually every sector of the digital sector for the majority of this year.

Unfortunately, the trend is still going strong, and there are rumours that Carsome, Malaysia’s first tech unicorn, may also begin its rounds of layoffs soon. According to a source familiar with the situation, the unicorn plans austerity measures that will primarily involve staff reductions.

Since the firm has its operations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, it is unclear whether Carsome is reducing staff overall or just concentrating on its Malaysian workers first. According to those with knowledge of the situation, the corporation is planning to make its statement, following which three batches of employees will be let go.

It’s interesting to note that early this year, the unicorn with a Malaysian basis went on a hiring binge. However, being in the sector that it is not unusual that the company is heavily impacted by the global economy and subject to recessionary anxieties. We can start anticipating official news in a few days if the layoff rumours prove to be accurate.

As a result of a share-swap agreement that saw it taking a stake in iCar Asia in July of last year, Carsome became Malaysia’s first tech unicorn. According to recent reports, the Malaysia-based used vehicle marketplace recently postponed plans for a dual offering in Singapore and the US due to worries that deteriorating macroeconomic conditions may lower its worth.

The next generation of billion-dollar businesses, known as soonicorns and unlisted unicorns, are struggling to survive in other parts of the region as they are pushed to stretch their money farther. Remember that the early days of the pandemic saw a shakeout of the tech boom in the area, with unicorns struggling to survive as financing decreased and decacorns tightened their budgets.

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