The pace of startup layoffs may be slowing down

Startups hit the brakes in March as COVID-19 took a toll on the global economy. As certain industries ground to a halt, cohorts of startups made staffing cuts, including those focused on serving restaurants and travel.

The waves of startup layoffs in the COVID-19 era hit companies large and small, impacting even the richest, most recently funded companies. It was a swift correction to staffing in an industry that had enjoyed a decade-long bull market and record private financing totals. Looking back, the pivot to fear appears brisk.

The market for startup talent has since improved, to a degree.

This morning, we’ll look at the pace and scale of startup layoffs, leaning on data provided to TechCrunch by We’ll also rope in information from a global startup survey executed by Paris’s Station F to better parse where the impacts have been starkest.

An improving picture

According to data from, which tracks job cuts in the startup industry, the number of people laid off stayed aloft from March to April and into the first weeks of May. In contrast, the total number of companies cutting staff declined from early April through the end of May; fewer companies cut staff as time went along, then, but it appears that they made larger cuts.

Here’s the chart: