Layoffs Roundup: Fri 11/6/20

Below is a recap of the latest tech layoff news. Check out the Layoffs.fyi Tracker for a complete list of all tech layoffs during the pandemic.

🏒 Bossa Nova βˆ™ 🌎 SF Bay Area βˆ™ πŸ‘© 50% of employees βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • Bossa Nova Robotics, a maker of shelf-scanning robots used in retail stores, laid off 50% of its (human) staff. The decision comes after Walmart ended its contract with Bossa Nova, finding that humans were equally capable of doing the robots’ job. Walmart had been using 500 of Bossa Nova’s robots, so those robots will presumably need to look for new work as well.

🏒 Remedy βˆ™ 🌎 Austinβˆ™ πŸ‘© 82 employees βˆ™πŸ”—Source

  • Remedy, a telehealth startup that provides mobile urgent care, laid off 82 employees. The company said that many of the affected employees were recent hires that were added to meet demand during the peak of the pandemic.

🏒 Knotel βˆ™ 🌎 New York City βˆ™ πŸ‘© 20 employees (8%) βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • Knotel, which leases office space to companies, cut 20 employees in its second layoff of the year. The company previously laid off or furloughed 195 employees in March, as demand for office space plummets during the pandemic.

In case you missed it, check out our standalone posts about layoffs from these companies:

Cheetah

Cheetah conducts layoff, cites challenges facing the restaurant industry

🌎 San Francisco, CA βˆ™ πŸ‘© Unknown # of employees βˆ™ πŸ–₯ Multiple departments

Cheetah, which delivers groceries and other supplies to restaurants, laid off an unknown number of employees last month. Following the layoff, the startup released a talent directory highlighting a few of its laid-off employees (see link belowπŸ‘‡)

No public announcement of the layoff exists, but the company’s talent directory explains that “COVID-19 has hit the restaurant industry hard, and unfortunately Cheetah had to part with some of its most talented team members.”

In April, Cheetah announced that it had raised $36 million and was pivoting to sell groceries to consumers, not just wholesalers.

The Cheetah layoff list contains 26 people across multiple functions, based in the U.S. and Israel.

Our live Layoffs Tracker has a real-time report of all startups that have done layoffs.

Quibi

Quibi layoff list surfaces after company shuts down

🌎 Los Angeles, CA βˆ™ πŸ‘© 100% of employees βˆ™ πŸ–₯ All departments

Quibi, the hyped short-form video streaming service, shut down two weeks ago despite raising $1 billion in funding. In the wake of the shutdown, a layoff list has emerged showcasing ex-employees looking for new opportunities (see link belowπŸ‘‡)

Started by entertainment and tech veterans Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, Quibi launched with much fanfare six months ago. The company hoped to create a new streaming service specifically geared towards smartphone consumption, in part by creating 10-minute episodes. However, the service struggled to gain traction, signing up only 500,000 subscribers compared to its initial target of 7 million.

Quibi’s layoff list contains roughly 150 people across multiple functions, primarily in the Los Angeles area.

Our live Layoffs Tracker has a real-time report of all startups that have done layoffs.

CodeCombat

CodeCombat launches alumni talent directory following layoff

🌎 San Francisco, CA βˆ™ πŸ‘© 8 employees βˆ™ πŸ–₯ Sales

CodeCombat, a programming game for learning how to code, laid off 8 employees, the company’s CEO told Layoffs.fyi. The Y Combinator graduate has raised $8.6 million to date, according to Crunchbase.

The company prepared a talent directory to help departing employees find new jobs (see link below πŸ‘‡). CodeCombat’s layoff list includes 7 salespeople and 1 product manager across the country.

Our live Layoffs Tracker has a real-time report of all startups that have done layoffs.

Layoffs Roundup: Thurs 10/22/20

Below is a recap of tech layoff news from recent weeks. Check out the Layoffs.fyi Tracker for a complete list of all tech layoffs during the pandemic.

🏒 Quibi βˆ™ 🌎 Los Angeles βˆ™ πŸ‘© 100% of employees βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • Quibi, the short-form video streaming service started by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, is shutting down. Despite raising $1 billion in funding and launching with much fanfare six months ago, the service struggled to gain traction, signing up only 500,000 subscribers compared to its initial target of 7 million.

🏒 Chef βˆ™ 🌎 Seattle βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • An unspecified number of employees were laid off at DevOps startup Chef following its $220 million acquisition by Progress. Those affected include a portion of Chef’s engineering team in Seattle and other locations.

🏒 Getyourguide βˆ™ 🌎 Berlin βˆ™ πŸ‘© 90 employees (17%) βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • Berlin-based tourism startup Getyourguide laid off 90 employees due to the disruption of travel resulting from the global pandemic. The company offers a booking platform for sightseeing tours and other tourism activities.

Alto Pharmacy

Alto Pharmacy lays off 47 employees

🌎 San Francisco, CA βˆ™ πŸ‘© 47 employees (6%) βˆ™ πŸ–₯ Multiple departments

Alto Pharmacy, an online delivery startup for prescription drugs, laid off 47 employees (6%), a company executive told Layoffs.fyi. The San Francisco-based startup is just months removed from a $250 million funding round led by Softbank.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a boon to telemedicine and prescription delivery startups in general. With fresh funding in the bank and the tailwinds of the pandemic, it’s not clear why Alto needed to perform a layoff.

Alto sent the following written statement:

Last week we made the difficult decision to eliminate a small percentage of the roles at Alto. As we continue to scale, we recognize the need to streamline operations and reallocate resources to better serve our customers and our continued long term growth. For those affected, we are grateful for their contributions to Alto and are working to support them with a significant severance and extended healthcare coverage. We are continuing to hire for roles critical to our mission and the service of our patients. We have never been more encouraged about our progress in building Alto and the need for a better pharmacy experience.

The company also prepared a talent directory to increase visibility for laid-off employees (see link below πŸ‘‡)

Our live Layoffs Tracker has a real-time report of all startups that have done layoffs.

Layoffs Roundup: Thurs 10/1/20

Below is a recap of tech layoffs from the past two weeks. Check out the Layoffs.fyi Tracker for a complete list of all tech layoffs during the pandemic.

🏒 HumanForest βˆ™ 🌎 London βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • HumanForest, a U.K.-based free bike-sharing service, laid off staff after a mechanical defect caused an accident for one of its customers. The layoff comes shortly after the startup raised $2.3 million in seed funding. TechCrunch reports that employees were let go with short notice and minimal severance. HumanForest hopes to launch a new e-bike in spring 2021, and has suspended its London operations in the meantime.

🏒 WeWork βˆ™ 🌎 Shenzhen βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • WeWork sold majority control of its Chinese unit to a private equity firm in exchange for a $200 million investment. Now a Chinese-owned company, WeWork China experienced layoffs as a result of the sale.

🏒 The Wrap βˆ™ 🌎 Los Angeles βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • LA-based digital media startup The Wrap laid off and furloughed staff earlier in the pandemic, as video and photo shoots were canceled and major events went digital. 80% of The Wrap’s revenue comes from advertising, despite its push to diversify with events revenue over the past few years. The Wrap recently hired a new chief revenue officer, and appears to be doubling down on advertising revenue now that COVID-19 has made live events impractical.

🏒 Air βˆ™ 🌎 New York City βˆ™ πŸ‘© 16% of employees βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • When Air launched its fundraising process in April during the peak of pandemic uncertainty, the visual collaboration startup only had 4 months of cash left. Refusing to take out a PPP loan because β€œit felt wrong,” the New York-based company laid off 16% of its employees and moved out of its office to minimize spending. The story has a good ending — Air recently announced the successful completion of its $12 million Series A.

Thanks to Layoffs.fyi intern Stephan Billingslea for contributing to this post.

Layoffs Roundup: Thurs 9/17/20

Well, that was fast. Just six months after everyone was warning about a startup reckoning, tech is booming again — coronavirus be damned πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ. 

The latest evidence? Using data from PitchBook and Layoffs.fyi, the Financial Times identified more than 20 startups that recently raised funding at higher valuations despite laying off employees (including Carta, Sonder, and Stack Overflow). 

It’s not just private markets that have recovered. Shares of data startup Snowflake gained 112% on its first day of public trading yesterday, boding well for the half dozen startups about to IPO in the coming weeks. Maybe it’s time for me to finally join all the millennialsΒ trading options on Robinhood? πŸ˜‰Β 

Despite the froth, layoffs are unfortunately still happening. I won’t be turning Layoffs.fyi into IPO.fyi anytime soon (plus, someone already registered it 2 weeks ago 😠).

Below is a recap of the layoffs from this past week. Check out the Layoffs.fyi Tracker for a complete list of all tech layoffs during the pandemic.

🏒 NS8 βˆ™ 🌎 Las Vegas βˆ™ πŸ‘© 240 employees (95%) βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • NS8, a fraud prevention startup, laid off nearly its entire staff. Ironically, the layoff came just days after NS8 informed employees that it was itself under investigation for fraud. The startup’s CEO abruptly resigned amid the SEC investigation, and has claimed that he β€œdid not walk away with the companies [sic] money.” NS8 raised a $123 million round of funding just months ago.

🏒 Bleacher Report βˆ™ 🌎 London βˆ™ πŸ‘© 20 employees βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • Digital sports media company Bleacher Report will lay off 20 employees later this month, representing nearly its entire London office. The UK staff had been focused on Bleacher Report’s football brand (what we Americans call “soccer”), and there’s speculation that this layoff is part of a series of decisions to pull back from its investment in the sport. Bleacher Report is currently owned by AT&T.

🏒 HubHaus βˆ™ 🌎 SF Bay Area βˆ™ πŸ‘© 100% of employees βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • HubHaus, a co-living startup that manages shared homes, is shutting down and laying off all its employees. The startup says that it failed to attract enough tenants, perhaps because the pandemic has exacerbated rental markets in cities like San Francisco. 

🏒 Welkin Health βˆ™ 🌎 SF Bay Area βˆ™ πŸ‘© 10 employees (33%) βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • The New York Post learned that patient healthcare software startup Welkin Health laid off a third of its workers in late April. Three days later, the company received a PPP loan worth over $1 million. Welkin claims that a declining sales pipeline caused the layoff. Since PPP loans are only forgivable if a company maintains its headcount, it’s likely that Welkin will need to pay back the loan.

Thanks to Layoffs.fyi intern Stephan Billingslea for contributing to this post.

GoBear

GoBear launches talent directory after laying off 22 employees

🌎 Singapore βˆ™ πŸ‘© 22 employees (11%) βˆ™ πŸ–₯ Multiple departments

GoBear, an online financial services β€œsupermarket” based in Singapore, laid off 11% of its workforce in early September. The company recently released a GoBear Talent Directory featuring some of its former employees (see link πŸ‘‡).

GoBear’s layoff affected employees in its operations, product, and technology teams across offices in Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, and Ukraine. The company now plans to focus on its growth areas of digital lending and insurance brokerage services.

[As an aside, GoBear feels like an ominous name choice for a financial services startup…maybe β€œbear market” means something different in Southeast Asia? At least their bear is cute!]

Our live Layoffs Tracker has a real-time report of all startups that have done layoffs.

Layoffs Roundup: Thurs 9/10/20

Below is a recap of the layoffs from this past week. Check out the Layoffs.fyi Tracker for a complete list of all tech layoffs during the pandemic.

🏒 Waze βˆ™ 🌎 SF Bay Area βˆ™ πŸ‘© 30 employees (5%) βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • 5% of employees at Google-owned Waze, a navigation app, were laid off as a result of stay-at-home orders across the globe. Global weekly driving averages were down 70% at one point in the pandemic, and Waze’s carpooling service continues to see a significant drop in demand. The layoff was concentrated in Waze’s sales, marketing, and partnerships teams; those laid off will receive severance and health insurance into early 2021.

🏒 Ouster βˆ™ 🌎 SF Bay Area βˆ™ πŸ‘© 10% of employees βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • Lidar startup Ouster laid off 10% of its workforce due to COVID-19. Despite the layoff and a shutdown of its manufacturing facility earlier in the pandemic, Ouster recently raised a $42 million Series B and reported increasing revenue. Diversification has helped: unlike other lidar startups, Ouster sells its sensors to defense, agriculture, and mining companies, in addition to automakers.

🏒 Akerna βˆ™ 🌎 Denver βˆ™ πŸ‘© Unknown # of employees βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • Layoffs ensued at Akerna, a marijuana compliance software company, after it acquired Ample Organics in a $45 million deal. Ample Organics’ CEO, disillusioned by the acquirer’s leadership, resigned less than two months after the acquisition. He left behind some searing criticism for his former employer, saying that  β€œAkerna’s current leadership is unlikely to make it a preeminent leader of anything. Except, possibly, serial layoffs, customer and revenue churn, and dilutive deals that are bad for investors.”

🏒 Swing Education βˆ™ 🌎 SF Bay Area βˆ™ πŸ‘© Unknown # of employees βˆ™ πŸ”—Source

  • When the pandemic closed schools in the spring, 90% of Swing Education’s revenue disappeared, causing the startup to lay off staff. The startup has now shifted its business from matching substitute teachers with schools to matching teachers with parents looking to create learning pods. Swing’s first learning pods opened in Oakland last month.

Thanks to Layoffs.fyi intern Stephan Billingslea for contributing to this post.