Hike Lays Off Over One-Fifth of Workforce Due to GST Raise on Online Gaming


Kavin Bharti Mittal-founded Hike, which owns Rush Gaming Universe, has laid off about 55 people — more than one-fifth of its total workforce — to absorb the impact of the GST hike on online gaming, a top company official said on Thursday.

The development comes within a week of gaming unicorn Mobile Premier League (MPL) laying off about half of its India team or close to 350 people to cut down cost burden due to the increase in GST to 28 percent.

“About 55 people, out of which 24 are non-full-time employees. Closer to 22 percent. Business is in the best shape ever but this 400 percent increase in GST is a bazooka pointed at us. We’ll need to absorb some of it and as a result the reduction in workforce at Hike/Rush,” Hike Founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal said.

The entire team of Hike is engaged in the development of Web3 gaming platform ‘Rush Gaming Universe’.

Investors in Hike include Tencent, Foxconn, Bharti Group, Tribe Capital, Polygon, Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, serial entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia, Cred Founder Kunal Shah.

The gaming platform claims to have 5.2 million monthly active users and distributed over $308 million (nearly Rs. 2,545 crore) to winners annually.

A couple of small-size gaming start-ups like Quizy have announced to shut down their business.

Industry body All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) in a statement early this week said that with over 400 percent increase in GST liability, a vast majority of entrepreneurs who had innovated in the sector would be disproportionately impacted with many of MSMEs and startups going out of business. 

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