SecondMarket was having a pretty good week. On Tuesday came a flurry of articles about the startup’s crowdfunding-flavored partnership with Angellist, and just yesterday, CEO Barry Silbert announced that Tennessee’s First Advantage Bank was using the service to go private while remaining open to investors. He called the move “validation of our model.”
Today, according to a post on SecondMarket’s blog, several employees got the ax as part of “org changes.”
I'll Tumbl For You
Earlier this week, Tumblr CEO David Karp took the stage at PaidContent Live for a panel called “Tumblr and the Future of Media.” It was a poignant title considering that one of the topics discussed was Mr. Karp’s recent, rather brusque blog post announcing the end of Storyboard, a high-profile editorial experiment that hired journalists to write features or film documentary video about Tumblr’s community of “creators.”
For example, this Storyboard piece about a photojournalist documenting a gang truce in El Salvador (on his Tumblr) was published by Mother Jones. One about activists and feminists using nail art (and the growing subculture on Tumblr) was produced in partnership with the Daily Beast.
Lot 18, the troubled New York-based wine sales marketplace, has booted another batch of staffers. AllThingsD broke the news that the company laid off 25 employees this morning, cutting approximately 35 percent of its staff. This brings the total employees to 46, about half as many as it boasted just a year ago.
After rumors began swirling on Twitter about layoffs at Salesforce, the cloud-computing company confirmed to Business Insider that it has laid off a fair chunk of its Radian6 employees. Salesforce says that less than 100 employees were impacted, but considering that Radian6 boasts only 320 employees total (according to Crunchbase), that’s still almost a third of the staffers being shown the door.
Radian6, a social media monitoring platform, is an integral part of Salesforce’s big play for a piece of the social marketing space. It acquired Radian6 back in March 2011 in order to build out the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
Social gaming company Zynga has endured a rough couple of months. After its acquisition of the NYC-based company OMGPOP–producers of the fad-friendly game Draw Something–Zynga has experienced a downward spiral. Earlier this month, it reported an estimated net loss of $90 million to $105 million for its third quarter, sending its already-low stock price into a tailspin. Now, The Next Web reports that the company has laid off 100 staffers from its Austin headquarters, and may even be shuttering its Boston office altogether.
How did big data become a meme? Here’s a hint: a catchy, non-technical name helps. [New York Times]
Larry Page’s big plan for his “boldest” acquisition involves laying off 20 percent of Motorola’s work force–and nearly a third of its 94 offices around the globe–on his way to becoming a hardware manufacturer. Generous severance packages Read More
We heard rumors that a large majority of Meebo’s staff was let go immediately prior to announcing its acquisition by Google, so we reached out to a source to confirm.
A source inside the company told us that Google acquired Meebo primarily for the engineering team, and that those engineers would be going to Read More
Gilt Groupe’s 900-some employees can rest easy, for now. In response to questions from Betabeat, the company confirmed this afternoon that the recent spate of layoffs is over. CEO Kevin Ryan initially estimated that about 50 people would be let go, however, the total number of layoffs across Gilt Groupe’s businesses “ended at 80-90.”
In a statement, the company said, “We don’t foresee additional layoffs at this time.”
Betabeat heard word Friday that part of the restructuring would involved shutting down certain markets for Gilt City, the company’s location-based deals service that offers discounts on luxury events and experiences. In the statement, Gilt Groupe confirmed that it will be closing its offices in six secondary cities “effective immediately,” namely San Diego, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Dallas, and Atlanta. “We have not been as successful in smaller markets and the resources they require take away from growing our core business,” the company said.
Prior to this move, Gilt City operated in thirteen markets, so this represents a significant reduction. Going forward, Gilt Groupe said it will be “servicing those smaller markets through a centralized sales force.”
Last Wednesday, Betabeat broke the news of impending layoffs at Gilt Groupe. Later that morning, CEO Kevin Ryan downgraded the estimates we had heard, telling AllThingsD that the company intended to “selectively trim” about 50 people from its staff of 900 over the next couple months.
Tipsters have written into Betabeat that some of those layoffs are currently underway. “People leaving. Sadness. Super uncomfortable work environment,” said one source who wanted to remain anonymous, adding, “General atmosphere is terrifying.”
Buy Together Die Together
Betabeat has been covering the layoffs at BuyWithMe since Wednesday, when more than half the staff, at least 100 people, were laid off without warning or severance. There has been almost no word from the company or its management. As a result, we’ve had to rely mostly on anonymous sources who know bits and pieces. But over the last 24 hours, we’ve been able to put together some big pieces of the puzzle.
The statement released yesterday by CEO James Crowley, that the company was reorganizing to best serve its clients and customers, was disingenuous at best. Numerous sources Betabeat spoke with confirmed that BuyWithMe is looking to be acquired by a larger player in the daily deal space, and has been for some time now. The layoffs were intended to make it a more attractive purchase.
How did BuyWithMe end up in such dire straights? Betabeat has heard from a source that not only did the company purchase six smaller startups in the last six months, burning through some of its capital, but it also took out a $10 million debt round from its backers that was never disclosed to the press. That goes a long way towards explaining how the company got to where it is today.