Bungee Labs In A Freefall

Bungee Labs, a well funded Utah based startup that left private beta only six months ago, laid off 15 employees today to give themselves more runway on their cash burn rate. The last we checked they had 38 employees, so this is nearly 40% of their total headcount.

CEO Martin Plaehn explained: “This change had less to do with the rate of technology development and more to do with actual versus anticipated rates of adoption. Our Platform-as-a-Service, Bungee Connect, has achieved the level of robustness and capability we envisioned and we are committed to its continued regular advancement and support. As with most new breakthrough offerings, Bungee Connect will require longer incubation time to become broadly accepted. As a start-up, our action yesterday extends our operating plan well into 2010 to more deeply establish Bungee Connect in the marketplace.”

The product is somewhat similar to a whole bunch of competitors – platform as a service application development. We’ve mentioned a number of them in our previous posts, including DabbleDB, Zoho Creator, LongJump, Coghead and WyaWorks, among others. Salesforce’s Force.com is also a competitor. So, in a nutshell, the market may well mature, but there is no guarantee they’ll end up at Bungee Labs.

At least one employee says he has no regrets. Alex Barnett wrote: “No regrets, none at all. When I considered the opportunity of joining Bungee Labs (and by doing so leave a relatively safe harbor in order to do so) I knew of the risks involved. Bungee Labs’ mission was – and still is – of the kind that aims to “change the world”. To have been a member of the team tasked with realizing the company’s hugely ambitious mission has been nothing short of an entirely worthwhile and educational pursuit.”

Sounds like someone has vested on some stock to me. I’d be pissed off if I was laid off.