Many big companies in the fintech world cut jobs in the past month. And yet Stripe’s announcement it would lay off 14% of its workforce still made a splash, proving that unicorns and decacorns are not immune to the challenging economic and fundraising conditions.
The Stripe news closely follows Chime confirming this week that 12% of its employees would be laid off and Brex revealing last month that it was cutting 11% of its workforce.
So what the heck is going on here? Well, according to Spiros Margaris, a fintech venture capitalist and founder of Margaris Ventures, the current layoffs by some of these larger fintech companies were “caused by the challenging geopolitical market environment and inflationary pressures. It affects the whole fintech startup industry — and globally all industries — since the prominent players have a strategic ripple effect on the smaller players.”
“Laying off good employees endangers their strategy to succeed in the grand vision they initially sold to the VC.” Spiros Margaris, founder, Margaris Ventures
Cameron Peake, a partner at Restive Ventures who recently invested in AiPrise, concurred, noting via email that much of what we are seeing today “were the dynamics we saw play out last year,” including all of the “large funding rounds, sunny market projections and a belief that companies needed more people to fuel their growth.”
What resulted was “a lack of discipline around company fundamentals,” she added. While the frenzy was dissipating, it was then that companies “realized they were not only ahead of their skis but that they needed to cut back in order to focus more on profitability,” she said.