The second wave of unicorn layoffs is brutal

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

There’s a quote from one great American financial panic that I can’t find this morning, but it went something like this: I don’t understand how yesterday we were so rich and today we are so poor.

For startups, we can begin to adapt the quip somewhat, perhaps to “I don’t understand how yesterday everyone was hiring like mad and today layoffs are so prevalent.” But, it’s true. After a time when not being able to hire quickly enough was a key risk for startups, unicorns, and public companies alike, staff cuts are the new norm.

This is the second time we’ve seen a wave of layoffs amongst the companies we cover at TechCrunch in recent months. However, the preceding wave seemed to land mostly amidst the companies that made up the Vision Fund’s portfolio. Today’s layoffs are coming more quickly, may cut more deeply and stem from a much broader set of companies.

This morning, let’s remind go over what happened in the first wave of recent unicorn layoffs (Zume, Oyo, Uber, etc) and how it compares to what is happening today as ZipRecruiter, Bird and TripActions cut staff of their own.