Austrian crypto trading platform Bitpanda is laying off a third of its employees, as its cofounders seek to extend the company’s runway to weather the current crypto winter.
Bitpanda’s cofounders announced the layoffs to staff in an all-hands meeting this afternoon, confirming in a blog post afterwards that the company’s headcount will be reduced to 730 people.
Sifted understands that those layoffs represent 34% of all employees (current headcount is around 1,100).
“As a hypergrowth company we were experiencing growing pains,” Bitpanda’s three cofounders Eric Demuth, Paul Klanschek and Christian Trummer wrote in the blog post to staff.
“In keeping up with the industry, our team’s growth rate has been too high [...] We reached a point where more people joining didn’t make us more effective, but created coordination overheads instead, particularly in this new market reality.
“Looking back now, we realise that our hiring speed was not sustainable. That was a mistake.
"We need to make fundamental changes in how we operate and sharpen our focus by getting back to the basics, prioritising safety and compliance, user experience, education and community, while deprioritising everything else.”
A fast fall for Bitpanda
It comes after Bitpanda raised $263m last August in a Series C round that valued the company at $4.1bn, and launched an aggressive expansion into new markets. Given that crypto assets have lost more than $1tn in market value this year, its valuation is likely a fraction of that now.
In an interview just last month, co-CEO and cofounder Eric Demuth told Sifted he was “totally relaxed” about the current slump in crypto markets, and that long-term, “times like this don’t really matter”.
“When it comes to Bitpanda, we’re unusual in that we’ve always been profitable every year since we launched in 2014,” Demuth told Sifted.
“So we have a good cash reserve if this crypto winter continues for much longer — we have no concerns there.”
What happens next
Sifted understands that most employees will receive an email today letting them know if the layoffs affect their role — apart from in Germany and Spain, where legal restrictions mean staff may not find out until after the weekend.
Amy O’Brien is Sifted’s fintech reporter. She authors Sifted’s fintech newsletter and tweets from @Amy_EOBrien.