This week saw huge layoffs from Uber, Airbnb, and Juul. These 3 layoffs rank among the top 10 biggest in tech since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic.
Below are a few of the startup layoffs from this past week. Check out our tracker for a more comprehensive list. If you’ve seen a layoff spreadsheet for any of these companies, please let us know!
🏢 Uber ∙ 🌎 SF Bay Area ∙ 👩3,700 employees (14%) ∙ 🔗Source
Ridesharing service Uber laid off 3,700 employees from its customer support and recruiting teams. The CEO’s letter to staff strongly hints that more cuts are coming in the next two weeks, including in engineering and product. As many as 5,400 employees are expected to ultimately be laid off.
🏢 Juul ∙ 🌎 SF Bay Area ∙ 👩900 employees (30%) ∙ 🔗Source
A maker of e-cigarettes, Juul has been mired in controversy over its role in the rise of underage vaping. Its layoff is unrelated to the coronavirus. Juul is also planning to move its headquarters from San Francisco to Washington D.C., partially because its products are now banned in SF.
An India-based fitness startup, CureFit also permanently closed a number of its gyms. The coronavirus lockdown has crushed fitness companies, including U.S.-based ClassPass (53% of team laid off or furloughed) and Brazil-based Gympass (467 employees laid off).
A ridesharing service acquired by Uber last year, Careem was one of the Middle East’s biggest startups. However, its business has dropped 80% post-coronavirus. Laid-off employees will receive at least 3 months of severance, 1 month of equity vesting, and extended visa and health insurance through 2020.
🏢 Namely∙ 🌎 New York City ∙ 👩 160 employees (40%) ∙ 🔗Source
A maker of HR and payroll software, Namely noted that its SMB customers have been downsizing as a result of the pandemic. This has led to lower revenue for Namely, which makes money in part via a per-employee monthly fee.
The self-proclaimed “world’s fastest growing hotel chain,” India-based Oyo plans to lay off 150-200 of its 300 employees in the UK. Oyo has already let go or furloughed thousands of employees globally in recent months. Its occupancy rate and revenue have dropped by over 50-60% since earlier this year.
🏢 Andela∙ 🌎 New York City ∙ 👩 135 employees (10%) ∙ 🔗Source
An Africa-focused startup that provides “engineering as a service,” Andela expects a decline in customers due to the economic downturn. The company is also shifting its strategy from acting as a talent accelerator to serving as a talent outsourcing firm. No engineers were part of the layoff.
An online marketplace of caregivers, Care.com said its layoff was not related to the coronavirus. Rather, the cuts are the result of Care.com’s acquisition by IAC in February.
🏢 Stack Overflow∙ 🌎 New York City ∙ 👩 40 employees (15%) ∙ 🔗Source
A popular Q&A site for engineers, Stack Overflow has been hardest hit in its Talent business, which helps companies recruit and hire developers. Most of the affected employees were furloughed, though some were permanently laid off.
🏢 TheSkimm∙ 🌎 New York City ∙ 👩 26 employees (20%) ∙ 🔗Source
A media startup targeted towards millennial women, TheSkimm is offering laid-off employees at least one month of severance and health insurance through July. Digital media companies have suffered declining revenue as brands pull back on advertising during the economic slowdown.
🌎 SF Bay Area ∙ 👩 1,900 employees (25%) ∙ 🖥 All departments
Airbnb, the home sharing startup, laid off 1,900 employees (25%) on Tuesday. In conjunction with the layoff, the company is pausing initiatives like Transportation and Airbnb Studios, and scaling back Hotels and Lux.
Laid-off U.S. employees will receive a very generous severance package of at least 14 weeks of base pay and 12 months of health insurance. The company also said that “we’re allowing everyone leaving to keep their Apple laptops” — which either means that PC owners aren’t eligible, or that no Airbnb employees use a Windows machine?
UPDATE: Added link to a second opt-in list of employees laid off
This morning, Uber announced it was laying off 3,700 employees (14%) in its customer support and recruiting teams. The CEO’s letter to staff strongly hints that more cuts are coming in the next two weeks. As many as 5,400 employees are expected to ultimately be laid off.
This means that in the past two days alone, we’ve seen two of three biggest tech layoffs since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic on March 11:
# Laid Off
Not surprisingly, nearly all of these mass layoffs — including Uber’s and Airbnb’s — can be attributed to shelter-in-place orders. Our previous analysis showed that 2/3 of startup employees laid off have come from industries directly affected by shelter-in-place, such as transportation, travel, real estate, food, and fitness. The layoffs have hurt sales and customer success roles most.
Unfortunately, more big layoffs are still to come. Juul is reportedly planning to lay off 800 to 950 employees, roughly one-third of staff. WeWork, which has already cut thousands of employees across multiple rounds of layoffs, expects to continue making cuts through the end of May. Square has managed to avoid a layoff so far, but remains exposed to small business customers in food and retail that have been shutting down en masse.
Our live Layoffs Tracker is tracking all startup layoffs, and has now tallied over 42,000 employees laid off across 374 companies. Best wishes to those affected and here’s hoping that we reach the bottom soon.
🌎 Greater Boston Area, NYC, SF ∙ 👩 900 employees (25%) ∙ 🖥 All departments
Online travel company TripAdvisor laid off 900 employees (roughly 25%). In conjunction, the company is shutting down its San Francisco and downtown Boston offices.
TripAdvisor becomes the latest travel company to conduct layoffs post COVID-19, joining Sonder (400 employees laid off), TripActions (300 employees), TravelTriangle (250 employees), and Fareportal (200 employees). Two-thirds of all startup layoffs since the coronavirus pandemic have come from industries directly affected by shelter-in-place orders.
See below link 👇for an opt-in list of nearly 400 recent TripAdvisor alumni.
In conjunction with the layoff, TripAdvisor closed its San Francisco and downtown Boston offices. It is also pausing 401(k) matching 😢and reducing pay and hours to reflect a 4-day workweek. TripAdvisor became the latest travel company to conduct layoffs, joining Sonder (400 laid off on 3/24), TripActions (300 on 3/25), TravelTriangle (250 on 3/28), and Fareportal (200 on 3/26).
An online food delivery service, Deliveroo blamed the layoff on the coronavirus pandemic. Although demand for meal delivery has risen due to shelter-in-place, consumers may increasingly decide to save money by cooking instead, something my wife told me I should also consider.
🏢 Automation Anywhere∙ 🌎 SF Bay Area ∙ 👩 260 employees (10%) ∙ 🔗Source
A robotic process automation platform, Automation Anywhere said it needed to cut costs to adjust to the economic fallout caused by COVID-19. Although a startup that automates repetitive manual tasks would seemingly benefit from the pandemic, most of Automation Anywhere’s customers have its software installed on their own servers, in their own offices (that are now closed).
A resale marketplace for sneakers, StockX has been negatively impacted by the plummeting demand for sneakers during the economic slowdown. The resale price of the 2020 Off-White Air Jordan V, for example, has dropped from a high of $986 to a low of $657 (which still sounds really expensive??)
🏢 Zenefits∙ 🌎 SF Bay Area ∙ 👩 87 employees (15%) ∙ 🔗Source
A maker of HR and payroll software, Zenefits cited the coronavirus pandemic as the cause of the layoff. The company is running a number of coronavirus-related initiatives, including offering one year of free payroll for small business customers.
🏢 App Annie∙ 🌎 SF Bay Area ∙ 👩 80 employees (18%) ∙ 🔗Source
A mobile analytics startup, App Annie said the layoff would help it become self-sufficient.
🏢 Sisense∙ 🌎 New York City ∙ 👩 80 employees (9%) ∙ 🔗Source
A maker of business analytics software, Sisense is projecting lower growth due to economic slowdown. Accordingly, its cuts were reportedly concentrated in their sales and marketing teams.
🏢 WeWork∙ 🌎 SF Bay Area ∙ 👩 74 employees ∙ 🔗Source
Beleaguered co-working company WeWork is laying off another 74 employees, including 60 from its 655 Montgomery St. location. WeWork had already cut thousands of employees in prior rounds of layoffs.
🏢 Oscar Health∙ 🌎 New York City ∙ 👩 70 employees (5%) ∙ 🔗Source
A health insurance company, Oscar Health said the layoff was needed to meet budget goals. The company, co-founded by Josh Kushner (whose brother is President Trump’s son-in-law), has been criticized for potential conflicts of interest related to COVID-19 testing.
🌎 Salt Lake City ∙ 👩💼45 employees ∙ 🖥 Mostly business roles
Peek, a marketplace for travel activities, conducted a mass layoff in March, according to multiple LinkedIn posts by employees. If your company is recruiting, we now have a list of laid-off employees (see below👇). The list contains 25 ex-employees and skews towards business roles in their Salt Lake City office.
TripActions, whose software helps companies manage corporate travel, laid off 300 workers last week (see link below for the list👇). The layoffs primarily affected customer support, recruiting, and sales. The company blamed the layoff on the decline in business travel, but got flack for notifying employees about the news via a group Zoom call.
🌎 San Francisco∙ 👩💼 80 employees (30%) ∙ 🖥 All departments
We previously mentioned that Zeus Living, which rents out furnished apartments on a monthly basis to business travelers, laid off 80 employees. We now have a list of affected employees (see link below👇). The list spans across engineering, product, and business roles.
🌎 San Francisco, Denver ∙ 👩💼 400 employees (33%) ∙ 🖥 All departments
Sonder, which offers short-term apartment rentals, laid off or furloughed 400 employees (see link below for the list👇). Bookings are down 20% at the company’s 5,000 apartments, since people are no longer traveling due to the coronavirus. Sonder has raised $360 million and was most recently valued at over $1 billion.