Incredible Labs, the startup that built personal assistant app Donna, reduced headcount by about 25 percent this week, as it seeks to streamline operations and improve its balance sheet. The layoffs came just a few weeks after Incredible Labs finally released its app to the public.
We’ve written about Donna a fair amount since launch, but it’s important to note that the app came out after about a year of flying under the radar. When Donna launched, it did so amid a wave of personal assistant and smart calendar apps hitting the market.
The company had raised a total of $2.5 million in seed funding from a group of investors that includes Khosla Ventures, Betaworks, Maynard Webb, CrunchFund, Ashton Kutcher, and some other angels. But the competitive landscape has shifted a bit since the team first started working on the product. Most recently, two of its competitors in the smart calendar space just raised new funding.
New York City-based Sunrise raised $2.2 million from Mike Hirshland from Resolute.vc and Rob Go from NextView Ventures, along with investors like Lerer Ventures, SV Angel, BoxGroup, 500 Startups, and John Maloney from Terrapinbale. Tempo, the smart calendar app incubated at SRI, raised $10 million led by Relay Ventures and Sierra Ventures.
But since the launch, Incredible Labs has decided to refocus its efforts and streamline its operations. CEO Kevin Cheng sent the following statement when asked about the cause of the layoffs:
“With the launch, we now have a clear understanding of what areas to focus on and what our needs are to execute on our vision. Unfortunately, that clarity also means some very talented members of our team didn’t quite fit our immediate needs and had to be let go.”
The founding team is still intact, according to Cheng, and at the end of the day only three people were let go. Still, for an early-stage company, losing a few of its members can be difficult going forward.
Disclosure: CrunchFund was founded by Michael Arrington, who also founded this website, which pays me. That doesn’t mean CrunchFund pays me.