“Cooler financing environment” leads StellarAlgo to restructure and make layoffs

Twenty-one employees laid off could represent nearly one quarter of Calgary startup’s headcount.

Calgary-based StellarAlgo has laid off 21 employees as part of a restructuring designed to help the company serve customers more efficiently through its sports fan engagement platform.

StellarAlgo co-founder and CEO Vincent Ircandia shared the news in an Oct. 17 LinkedIn post, noting that the startup is also re-organizing into four new business units, but did not specify the focus of these units.

“Like many of our peers, we have experienced a period of rapid growth and are now in a cooler financing environment where efficiency is being rewarded,” Ircandia told BetaKit. “We owe it to our team, our customers and shareholders to make these tough choices today to continue to lead in our market tomorrow.”

“Like many of our peers, we have experienced a period of rapid growth and are now in a cooler financing environment where efficiency is being rewarded.”

Ircandia declined to disclose what functions or what percentage of the company’s overall workforce were affected by this staff reduction. A spokesperson for StellarAlgo claimed that the startup had more than the 74 employees currently listed on LinkedIn prior to these cuts, but declined to provide an accurate headcount figure to BetaKit. Using the 74 employee number as a reference point, the 21 people laid off would represent nearly a quarter of StellarAlgo’s total headcount.

With these cuts, StellarAlgo has joined the still-growing but slowing list of tech companies to lay off staff this year as market conditions have continued to deteriorate. Some have sought to extend their runway or hasten their path to profitability as funding has become tougher to obtain and investor priorities have shifted while others have adjusted as their customers have cut back.

StellarAlgo is a software company that aims to help professional sports teams understand and predict the spending habits of fans. The startup’s platform allows clients to organize, analyze, and leverage fan data from a variety of online and in-person sources, such as email marketing, ticketing, and merchandise sales. StellarAlgo’s software is designed to help sports organizations and their partners execute more targeted fan outreach and boost fan engagement and revenue beyond just event ticket sales.

To date, StellarAlgo has raised at least $19 million CAD in total funding from a group that includes Carallas Holdings, Newbound VC, Yaletown Partners, InterGen Capital, Accelerate Fund II, Thin Air Labs and Wave co-founder James Lochrie, and Bleacher Report founder Dave Finocchio. This figure does not include any funding from its January deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA), as the financial terms of that partnership were not disclosed.

RELATED: Saskatoon software startups Vendasta, 7shifts, Andgo Systems make layoffs

According to Ircandia, StellarAlgo’s recent cuts mark the company’s first round of layoffs during the downturn. They come roughly two years after StellarAlgo closed $16.5 million in Series A funding, and about eight months after the NBA took a “meaningful” equity stake in StellarAlgo as part of a multi-year, league-wide strategic partnership.

Per Ircandia, StellarAlgo has experienced a period of rapid growth over the past two years. Today, StellarAlgo serves over 130 sports properties and their partners across North America—up from the more than 85 it catered to at the time of its Series A round.

With these cuts, StellarAlgo has added to the still-growing but slowing list of 2023 tech layoffs.

In addition to the NBA and its NBA franchise clients, StellarAlgo’s customers include Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and National Hockey League teams like the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Inter Miami, LA Galaxy, Calgary Flames, and Vancouver Canucks. The firm has also been expanding beyond just sports with clients like Toyota and SkipTheDises.

With this restructuring, Ircandia believes that StellarAlgo is well-positioned to navigate the downturn. “We have a clear vision, incredible customers, a platform that delivers greater and greater value, and the support of our investors,” he added.

StellarAlgo’s layoffs add to what has been a particularly tough year for tech layoffs. Other Canadian tech startups that have cut staff recently include Vendasta, 7shifts, Andgo Systems, Paper, Athennian, Top Hat, Fable, Dapper Labs, and Loopio. Per Layoffs.fyi, as of publication time, 1,069 tech companies globally have laid off over 244,000 employees since January.

However, as Layoffs.fyi recently indicated, September 2023 marked the eighth consecutive month of declining tech layoffs with the lowest count since January 2022.

Feature image courtesy Unsplash. Photo by JC Gellidon.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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