Layoffs at Lime and Getaround herald rise of profit-hungry unicorns

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? Positive adjusted EBITDA, or something close to it.

That’s the message from scooter unicorn Lime, which announced this week that it was cutting about 14% of its staff and closing a dozen markets. The staff reductions, numbering about 100, come as the company has touted efforts to improve its profitability — going as far as setting targets for when it might reach capital freedom, as well as highlighting the matter in a recent corporate blog post.

(Bird, a Lime competitor, also underwent layoffs this year.)

What’s going on? Unicorns, once hungry for growth, are now hell-bent to show current (and future) investors that their businesses aren’t unprofitable quagmires. Profitability, or movement towards it, is hot, and Lime is a good example of the trend — as is Getaround, which also wrote about its own layoffs this week. Let’s dig in.