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Fashion startup Pomelo cuts 8% of staff as Asia layoffs spread

Bloomberg
Bloomberg9/9/2022 03:09 PM GMT+08  • 2 min read
Fashion startup Pomelo cuts 8% of staff as Asia layoffs spread
The Bangkok-based startup is in the midst of raising external capital and has engaged banks including Morgan Stanley. Photo: Bloomberg
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Thai e-commerce startup Pomelo Fashion Pte is cutting staff across its functions, joining other tech firms downsizing this year in a bid to withstand an economic slowdown.

The online fashion retailer cut about 55 employees, or 8% of its headcount, it said in a statement on Thursday in response to queries by Bloomberg News. The company said it streamlined its processes “to move toward more sustainable growth.”

The Bangkok-based startup is in the midst of raising external capital and has engaged banks including Morgan Stanley to help with the effort, according to people familiar with the matter. The startup in August secured about US$10 million ($14.1 million) from existing investors including Jungle Ventures, regulatory filings showed, and has raised a total of at least US$83 million from investors that also include JD.com Inc. and Provident Growth Fund.

Representatives for Pomelo and Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the fundraising effort.

Pomelo is joining peers in the region trying to reduce cash burn as investors become less willing to bankroll growth without profits. Launched in 2013, Pomelo sells clothing and accessories online and in its retail stores in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, according to its website.

Many of Southeast Asia’s e-commerce companies are facing slower growth as macroeconomic conditions sour and consumers pull back on spending amid rising inflation. Sea Ltd.’s commerce arm Shopee in June made its first major job cuts and is scaling back its overseas footprint. The Singapore-based giant has lost almost US$170 billion of its market value since an October high on questions about its money-making prospects.

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