Envoy, the Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup that sold software to Airbnb, Asana and Slack, just cut 30% of its workforce as a work-from-home era disrupted its pitch to revolutionize the workplace.

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  • Envoy, a startup best known for its visitor sign-in software, held a company-wide meeting onTuesdayto announce that it would be cutting 30% of its workforce, Business Insider has learned. 
  • “We’re taking necessary steps to position Envoy to weather the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic,” a statement from Envoy CEO Larry Gadea read. “As part of a responsible expense reduction plan, we’re reducing the size of our workforce and temporarily lowering cash compensation for remaining staff, including our executive team.”
  • The cuts appear to have taken place on the heels of a hiring push, as several of the employees who posted on LinkedIn noted that they’d only joined the startup this year, amid a new product rollout.  
  • But as the coronavirus outbreak has pushed companies to retreat from their offices, a forced work-from-home era has presented an existential crisis to the startup that aimed to revolutionize the workplace. 
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Envoy, a startup best known for its visitor sign-in software, held a company-wide meeting on Tuesday to announce that it would be cutting 30% of its workforce, Business Insider has learned. 

Laid off employees told Business Insider that the cuts occurred across all teams, and that the sales, workplace management and marketing teams were hit hardest. Several of the laid-off employees had only just joined the startup this year, per LinkedIn. 

One employee said that the notice given was abrupt: Envoy employees received an email informing them of the mandatory meeting just 15 minutes in advance, and individual calls telling them whether they were let go followed almost immediately after the meeting. LinkedIn posts from other laid-off employees corroborate that account. 

A spokesperson for Envoy confirmed the news, and noted that 30% of the workforce was either laid-off or furloughed. Before the layoffs, the company said it had 195 employees, putting the number of workers affected by the 30% staff reduction at about 58.

“We’re taking necessary steps to position Envoy to weather the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Envoy CEO Larry Gadea said in a written statement. “As part of a responsible expense reduction plan, we’re reducing the size of our workforce and temporarily lowering cash compensation for remaining staff, including our executive team.”

Envoy said it was providing employees with severance, extended health care and outplacement services. 

A rough time to revolutionize the workplace

The 7-year-old company’s footprint is ubiquitous in Silicon Valley tech office spaces. It started off by selling guest registration software in 2013, allowing visitors to sign into new spaces, agree to terms and conditions, and print photo badges. Without much marketing, Envoy has signed up thousands of companies, including Airbnb, Slack, and Asana.

In the years following, the company continued its push to revolutionize how tech office spaces operated. Just this February, it launched a new platform to help it expand beyond the core business of managing office visitors and deliveries, and allow startup employees to use their phones to book rooms and schedule meetings from their phones. 

But as the coronavirus outbreak has pushed companies to retreat from their offices, the forced work-from-home era has presented an existential crisis to the startup that had aimed to revolutionize the central workplace. 

Envoy CEO Larry Gadea, a former systems engineer at Twitter and Google, pointed toward that in his statement, writing that the coronavirus pandemic had disrupted workplaces around the globe. But he noted that fresh opportunities also lie in helping customers navigate new challenges, like safety and compliance, that have intensified in the work from home era. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused dramatic disruption to workplaces around the globe,” Gadea’s statement read. “We remain committed to our mission of challenging the status quo of the workplace as we actively work on ways to help customers navigate the ‘new normal.’ In a recession environment, automation around safety, security and compliance will be especially important, and keeping the user experience at the center will be critical to making this new world something people will accept.”

The company last raised $43 million back in October 2018, and is valued at $263 million, per Pitchbook. Its investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman.

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