After laying off around 600 employees, IPO-bound OYO Hotels and Homes CEO and founder Ritesh Agarwal has urged companies hiring in tech to reach out to the company so it could provide job opportunities for the affected employees.

Hotel aggregator OYO on December 3 announced that it was letting go 10% of its total 3,700 staff members who were part of its product and engineering teams. Many working in its corporate and vacation homes teams have also been affected. The layoffs at OYO are seen as a clean-up to carve a path towards profitability and make operations smoother with its partners, ahead of its IPO launch next year.

OYO also announced the hiring of 250 freshers in partner relationships and business development teams. Announcing the layoffs, Agarwal said the hotel aggregator will do everything it can to ensure they are gainfully employed.

He said the company will reach out to the affected employees first and offer them the opportunity. "Many talented OYOpreneurs are having to part ways with OYO & we want to ensure they receive as much assistance and support as possible. For companies that are hiring in tech, reach out to us at talent@oyorooms.com and we will share a directory for rehiring our outgoing colleagues," Agarwal said via a Twitter post.

He said it is OYO's top priority to ensure the well-being of its employees, both during and after their tenure with the hospitality company. "I will proactively endorse the strength of these talented individuals, and support them every step of the way," said the OYO founder.

The company had earlier said that to minimise the impact of layoffs, it’ll downsize teams that were developing pilots and proof of concepts such as in-app gaming, social content curation and patron-facilitated content.

OYO had last week reported a total loss of ₹333 crore in the second quarter that ended September 30, 2022. The Softbank-backed travel tech firm posted a loss of ₹414 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal (Q1 FY23). The revenue in the first half of the current fiscal (H1 FY23) jumped 24% to ₹2,905 crore. The company, however, did not disclose quarterly revenue numbers. The monthly revenue per hotel, or gross booking value, increased 69% year-on-year to ₹3,48,000.

The SEBI gave OYO permission to submit updated financials before it examined and processed the company's IPO application. OYO is planning to launch its initial public offering (IPO) by early 2023.

The layoffs at OYO mark a rather rough year for the Indian startup industry, which saw fund-starved startups shedding their workforces to save costs amid global macroeconomic challenges. The Indian startup ecosystem has seen funding deals drying up consistently this year, with only $1.1 billion raised in November 2022, 73% down as compared to $4.1 billion in the year-ago period. Estimates show around 17,604 startups have already been laid off by more than 50 startups this year, including the big ones like BYJU's, Ola, Unacademy, Vedantu, CARS24, among others.

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