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Defense startup True Anomaly lays off around 25%, cancels summer internship

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True Anomaly jackal
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Space and defense startup True Anomaly has laid off around 25% of its workforce and canceled its summer internship program, TechCrunch has learned.

“With our rapid growth over the past two years, we looked at every aspect of our company to make sure we are laser focused on our goals and best positioned to execute,” a company spokesperson said. “We identified the duplication of roles and functions across the company, and as such, reduced our headcount. This won’t impact our ability to execute on our contracts with customers or on our mission to bring security and sustainability to the space domain.”

While TechCrunch could not confirm the total headcount prior to these layoffs, True Anomaly had over 100 employees as of December 2023, it told the Denver Business Journal. Nearly 30 people were cut from the workforce, according to a post on LinkedIn from one of the people let go.

Employees started posting on LinkedIn about the layoffs on April 24; according to those messages, people impacted worked in sales, business development and recruiting. At least some interns were abruptly told the summer internship program was canceled last Friday, on April 19, as well. The internship was set to start on June 1.

The Centennial, Colorado-based startup closed a $100 million financing round last December; at the time, executives said staff had swelled to 107 employees. Earlier this month, True Anomaly CEO Even Rogers told TechCrunch during an interview on the company’s first mission that the company was “well-capitalized.”

True Anomaly hopes to modernize space defense with its Jackal spacecraft and Mosaic software platform for command and control operations. The startup envisions using Jackals on orbit to approach, image and gather intelligence on other objects in orbit.

True Anomaly launched that first mission, called Mission X, on March 4, though it ended early after the company failed to establish reliable communications with the two spacecraft that were deployed in orbit. The anomaly is hardly slowing them down, however. The startup is pushing to launch at least twice more in the next 12 months, aiming for another launch in October, one person told TechCrunch.

The person was offered an internship, and spoke to TechCrunch on condition of anonymity, saying that a technical recruiter suggested that the internship program had been canceled because the company didn’t have the human bandwidth to organize and supervise an intern project. The team is also starting work on the $30 million responsive space contract that the company was awarded earlier this month, the person said.

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