Just a few months ago, tech start-up Bolt was the place to be, with the perk of a four-day workweek. This week, it laid off a third of its staff.
Hundreds of workers at a US tech start-up, which made headlines earlier this year for its permanent move to a four-day workweek, have found they were made redundant by an invitation to a calendar meeting.
Bolt, which builds payment software for online retailers, was valued at US$11 billion (A$15.4 billion) in January.
This week in a message to staff â and later published on the Bolt website – chief executive Maju Kuruvilla said the company was “making several structural changes” due to “macro challenges”, which included staff cuts.
âFor those directly affected in the United States and Canada, our goal is to notify you within the next 30 minutes when you receive a calendar invite for an individual or small sub-team âBolt Restructuringâ meeting,â said writes Mr. Kuruvilla, who was previously vice president of Amazon.
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âFor those of you who remain on Team Bolt, later this morning you will receive an invite to a town hall at 1pm PST.
âIf you work outside of the United States and Canada, we will provide more clarity based on local laws and regulations over the coming weeks.â
A Bolt spokesperson confirmed SFGATE that “about a third of the company” has been made redundant. It had about 900 employees, according to its LinkedIn.
Mr Kuruvilla posted a list of nearly 50 of the employees who had been made redundant on Twitter, encouraging recruitment companies to contact them.
“Some very talented people are leaving Bolt, and other companies would be lucky to have them,” he wrote.
A New York Times An investigation earlier this month alleged that the company and its founder Ryan Breslow had “inflated metrics and overstated Bolt’s technology capabilities in pursuit of ever-higher valuations.”
Mr. Breslow called the presentation a âhit pieceâ.
The 27-year-old abruptly resigned as chief executive in January, weeks after Bolt was valued at $11 billion (A$15.4 billion).
Mr. Breslow, who left Stanford in 2014 to create Bolt, is now executive chairman. His net worth is US$2 billion (A$2.8 billion), according to Forbes.
In April, it emerged that Authentic Brands Group, owner of Forever 21 and Reebok, was suing Bolt for allegedly failing to deliver the promised technology.
ABG alleged that during Bolt’s integration with Forever 21, it lost over $150 million (A$210 million) in online sales, Bloomberg reported. Bolt denied the allegations.