San Francisco, June 3 (IANS): The SoftBank-backed social messaging unicorn IRL (In Real Life), which is hugely popular among teens in the US, has announced the layoff of 25% of its team citing market dynamics.
In a memo to employees, IRL CEO and co-founder Abraham Shafi said “we’ve all seen the state of the market.”
“The world is going through a collective struggle with inflation, rising cost of goods, layoffs, school shootings, and many are living in loneliness and depression,” Shafi said.
“Being disciplined and adapting to our current environment means going from a team of 100 people to a team of 75 people,” he writes.
The company, which raised $170 million in a SoftBank-led Series C valuation last year valuing the company at $1.1 billion, said it has “more than enough cash to last well into 2024.” .
“Now is the time to be aggressive, diligent and proactive. Whatsapp was able to reach 450 million users with a team of 55 people. I am inspired by that and believe we will forge our own amazing story with a small but incredibly amazing team,” Shafi said.
IRL was founded in 2017. It last had 20 million registered users, growing 400% over a 15-month period.
“We’ve all seen the state of the market. It’s the worst since 2007-2008, but now is not the time to panic. Instead, now is the time to make the most of the constraints” , said the CEO of IRL.
The app previously raised nearly $30 million from investors including Founder’s Fund, Goodwater Capital and Floodgate Fund.