3D-Printed Insole Maker SOLS Lays Off 20 Percent Of Staff

SOLS, a company using 3D-printing technology to make custom shoe insoles, has laid off 20 percent of its workforce, or 14 employees in total across all teams, TechCrunch has confirmed. The staff reductions come just ahead of a forthcoming product announcement due in a few weeks, as well as further efforts aimed at broadening SOLS’ product offerings, says co-founder and CEO Kegan Schouwenburg.

The startup is notable as being one of the first companies to use 3D printing technologies to market custom-manufactured wearables.

To date, SOLS focused on printing shoe insoles, in particular by working with doctors who prescribe its products to patients suffering from foot pain and other ailments. This fall, SOLS also brought its insoles directly to consumers with the launch of an iPhone app where individuals could virtually scan their foot with their phone’s camera, in order to help create their custom insole in combination with other data, like weight, height, and lifestyle details.

Schouwenburg, an early employee at 3D printery Shapeways before founding SOLS, tells TechCrunch that the team members who were let go were provided with severance packages, and the company is working to help each individual new opportunities.

“As we broaden our product offerings, we are exploring distribution channels to extend our core medical business and support our overall strategy. There will be an exciting product announcement in the next several weeks,” she said. “We are sad to see our colleagues go, but believe these changes will enable focus, and set us up for greater success.”

SOLS has raised $19.25 million to date in outside funding, according to CrunchBase, from investors including Felicis Ventures, Founders Found, FundersGuild, Lux Capital, Rothenberg Ventures, RRE Ventures, Melo7 Tech Partners, Tenaya Capital, and others.