Just days ago, Airtable published a memo about how laid off workers can use Airtable to search for jobs. “It’s been an unwelcome theme of 2022—layoffs,” the post said. “Each season seems to usher in a new wave of cuts. Meanwhile, corporations cite similar concerns of rising inflation, the looming threat of an economic downturn and the need for stability during turbulent times. For the souls who lost their jobs this year it’s another cruel uncertainty they’ll have to surmount.”
(Update: The layoff was announced internally alongside an executive departure. Airtable’s chief revenue officer, chief people officer and chief product officer have all parted ways with the company, effective today, a spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch.)
Now, Airtable’s employees are facing the same feeling. Last valued at $11 billion, the no-code leader has conducted a round of layoffs today that impact around 254 employees across business development, engineering and other teams. The company spokesperson says that Airtable is continuing to hire for “strategically important” roles, and that 20% of the staff was impacted today.
Those impacted by Airtable’s layoffs today will get at least 16 weeks of severance pay, accelerated equity vesting and, for those on a visa, support from an immigration counsel, sources say. Employees were given the opportunity to meet 1:1 with a leader at the company, following the news.
In an e-mail obtained by TechCrunch, and first seen by tracker Layoffs.fyi, Airtable founder and CEO Howie Liu said the company will be evolving from a bottoms-up adopted product to a company that brings connected apps to larger enterprises.
“We’ve rapidly expanded and executed on multiple fronts. At the time, I believed we could successfully pursue all of them in parallel,” Liu wrote in the email. “However, in taking a hard look at our efforts in the current market environment, we’ve identified the teams best positioned to capture the opportunity in enterprise in order to bring complete focus, alignment and accountability in our execution.”
The vision was part of the reason that TechCrunch spoke to Liu in October, as Airtable announced its more integrated, connected-apps approach. Then, the entrepreneur pointed to its $735 million Series F round from 2021 as a fortunate reason that Airtable has been able to stay well-capitalized amid the downturn.
“We have more than enough runway to get to profitability and then some,” Liu said in an interview with TechCrunch. “We’re a private company, so we’re not under the gun to show short-term results of profitability — so we’re very, very fortunate to not be under so much pressure and we would never gloat about that, but I do think it gives us a unique position [to hire talent].”
In today’s internal memo, Liu re-emphasized that Airtable is well capitalized, but slightly shifted in tone by adding that “being a lean organization becomes doubly important in times of economic uncertainty.” A spokesperson added that all of Airtable’s funds from its Series F are “still intact.”
The company is signaling that the layoff was less of a desperate attempt to extend runway, and more of a move made in order to re-align the company with what actually works. A spokesperson said that its enterprise side, which makes up the majority of Airtable’s revenue, is growing more than 100% year over year; the product move today just doubles down on that exact cohort.
This entire year was full of tech layoffs, but the final quarter has been especially massive as macroeconomic pressure reaches late-stage private companies. Yesterday, Plaid announced that it would officially cut 20% of staff, around a month after one of the most valuable fintechs, Stripe, cut 14% of its workforce. Elon Musk cut around 50% of Twitter’s workforce after he bought the social media platform, one of the largest layoffs percentage-wise that has happened since the beginning of the pandemic.
Like others, Airtable is assuming a leaner, more focused business strategy to head into the new year.
Current and former Airtable employees can reach out to Natasha Mascarenhas on Signal, a secure encrypted messaging app, at 925 271 0912. You can also DM her on Twitter, @nmasc_.