Former employees at the meditation app Calm may need to stop and take a deep breath.
On Thursday, the company’s CEO, David Ko, announced layoffs impacting 20% of its roughly 400 employees in a memo to staff seen by Gizmodo. That 20% translates to around 90 employees. The memo comes amid a growing wave of tech industry layoffs that’s left tens of thousands of tech workers scrambling for new jobs.
In his memo, Ko said the decision came in an effort to focus on growth and efficiency.
“I can assure you that this was not an easy decision, but it is especially difficult for a company like ours whose mission is focused on workplace mental health and wellness,” Ko said in the memo. “We did not come to this decision lightly, but are confident that these changes will help us prioritise the future, focus on growth and become a more efficient organisation.”
Calm, generally considered a leader in the increasingly crowded mediation app market, attained a valuation of over $US2 ($3) billion in 2020 and has reportedly received investment support from Goldman Sachs and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, according to Bloomberg. Ko said the company will hold an all hands meeting on Friday where they will discuss the layoffs in more depth.
Calm’s unpleasant news has become par for the course for tech companies. Layoffs have touched nearly every corner of the industry, affecting everything from AI and fintech startups to cryptocurrency firms and just about everything in between. Just in the past few months, Netflix, Klarna, Substack, Tesla, and Coinbase have all announced issued layoffs of various sizes. Overall, Crunchbase estimates some 34,000 tech workers have lost their jobs in 2022. Unemployment claims across the U.S. economy generally, meanwhile, are at an eight-year high.
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