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

The development comes within a week of gaming unicorn Mobile Premier League (MPL) laying off about half of its India team, or nearly 350 people, to ease the cost burden due to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) hike to 28%.

“About 55 people, 24 of which are part-time employees. Close to 22%. Business is in the best shape it has ever been, but the 400% increase in GST is like a bazooka pointed at us. We need to absorb some Hike founder and CEO Cavin Kavin Bharti Mittal said:

Hike’s entire team is dedicated to the development of the Web3 game platform “Rush Gaming Universe”.

Hike’s investors include Tencent, Foxconn, Bharti Group, Tribe Capital, Polygon, Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, serial entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia, and Cred founder Kunal Shah.

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

Several small gaming startups, such as Quizy, have announced the closure of their operations.

Industry body All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) said in a statement earlier this week that with GST liabilities rising by more than 400%, the vast majority of entrepreneurs who innovate in the industry will be disproportionately affected. impact as many MSMEs and start-ups will exit the Indian market. Business.

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