Layoffs Roundup: Thurs 10/1/20

Below is a recap of tech layoffs from the past two weeks. Check out the 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 intern Stephan Billingslea for contributing to this post.