Indian edtech startup Unacademy is laying off 12% of its workforce, citing a funding winter and pressure to turn profitable, according to an internal mail from the company's chief executive seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

"Today... funding is scarce and running a profitable business is key," CEO and co-founder Gaurav Munjal said in an email sent to all staff.

A spokesperson for Unacademy declined to comment on the layoffs and did not disclose the number of job cuts or the current headcount.

Indian business news publication Moneycontrol reported earlier in the day that the SoftBank-backed startup laid off about 380 employees, reducing its total employee count to under 3,000.

Edtech startups in India have laid off thousands of employees in the past year and have been unable to raise funding as a slowdown gripped the market.

Companies that have cut staff include Tiger Global-backed Vedantu and Byju's - India's biggest startup valued at $22 billion.

However, venture capital firm GSV Ventures told Reuters last month that India is still one of the world's most exciting markets for education technology investors.

Fears of an economic downturn prompted startups to slash thousands of jobs in recent months.

Over the past two weeks, technology giant Inc and IT services major Accenture Plc said they would lay off 9,000 and 19,000 jobs, respectively. (Reporting by Varun Vyas and Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)