Pune-based coworking space provider Friyey has shut down operations, becoming the latest casualty of the ongoing funding crunch in the Indian startup ecosystem.

Friyey founder and CEO Yogesh Thore announced the closure in a LinkedIn post on July 8, 2023. He said that the funding crunch was one of the key factors behind the decision to shut down, as it had become increasingly difficult to raise capital for idea-based startups like Friyey.

Founded in 2019, Friyey took a unique approach to coworking by transforming restaurants, pubs, and clubs into workspaces during off-peak hours. The company had amassed over 500 restaurant partners and served more than 24,000 remote workers. However, Thore said that Friyey struggled to maintain consistent demand and manage its expenses, which were higher than its revenue.

Friyey’s closure is the latest in a string of Indian startups that have shut down or scaled back operations due to the funding crunch. In 2022, eight startups, including five from the edtech sector, ceased operations. This trend continued into 2023, with social media app Tiki and vernacular content platform Bluepad also announcing their closures.

The funding winter is a result of a number of factors, including rising interest rates, inflation, and the war in Ukraine. These factors have made it more difficult for startups to raise capital, especially from venture capitalists.

The funding crunch is having a significant impact on the Indian startup ecosystem. A recent report by Inc42 found that total funding for Indian startups in the first half of 2023 amounted to $5.4 billion, significantly lower than the $19 billion raised during the same period last year. The decline in funding is reflected in the decreased deal count, indicating the ongoing challenges faced by Indian startups in securing financial support.

The funding crunch is likely to continue for some time, as the global economic outlook remains uncertain. However, there are some signs that the situation may be improving. In recent weeks, there have been a number of high-profile funding rounds for Indian startups, suggesting that investors are starting to return to the market.

Despite the challenges, the Indian startup ecosystem remains resilient. There are still a large number of innovative startups operating in India, and many of them are well-positioned to succeed in the long term. The funding crunch may slow down their growth in the short term, but it is unlikely to derail their success.

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By Amit