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Trell Continues to Lose Employees, Creators Cry Foul Over Overdue Payments

The video-commerce platform faced several issues since allegations of financial misappropriation surfaced in 2021.

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Trell Continues to Lose Employees, Creators Cry Foul Over Overdue Payments
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Influencer-led video-commerce platform Trell is in hot water as employees continue to leave the company, news agency IANS reported. This comes in the wake of an uproar by influencers who claim that Trell has not paid them for the work they have done.

Accusations are pouring in from content creators who worked to produce content for Trell saying that the company has not cleared their dues to them for the last six to seven months.

At least 100 employees have either quit or been laid off by the platform over the last two months, according to the agency – the latest in a myriad of problems Trell has been facing for over a year.

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'Please Clear the Pending Payments'

Trell is a lifestyle-centric short video platform where influencers are paid to produce branded content which is used to promote products that are sold on their eCommerce wing. The app was launched in 2016 and attracted more users in 2020 after the ban on TikTok.

The app promotes products and encourages sales via a strong base of content creators. Co-founder Pulkit Agrawal said in a statement to The Economic Times that Trell had trained over 1000 creators, with some of them earning up to Rs 2 lakh per month.

The app's community page on Instagram has lately been flooded with comments from creators demanding that they clear their dues. Creators have accused the platform of selectively paying creators who have large followings on social media while ignoring their smaller creators.

Trell has so far denied all these accusations. In a statement to IANS, the company stated that they have paid all their creators in accordance with their contracts.

They also added that some creators work with them via agencies, and that payment delays between the agencies and creators are likely what has led to the issues.

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Founders Accused of Embezzlement

Earlier this year, a whistleblower alleged that the founders of Trell were embezzling money. This led to Sequoia, one of Trell's investors, initiating a probe to investigate the financial irregularities. In April, a forensic investigation of Trell was conducted by EY India to audit the company's finances. During this period, the company laid off over 300 employees.

These accusations and investigations have affected Trell's fundraising endeavours. Last year, the company raised $45 million from investors including the H&M Group, Mirae Asset, and Sequoia Capital. The allegations of financial misappropriation stalled a reported fundraising round of $100 million, as part of which Trell had been in talks with Amazon.

(With inputs from IANS and The Economic Times)

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Topics:  Social Media   Startup   Layoffs 

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