After a year of aggressive growth, Toronto-based Influitive told BetaKit today that the company is laying off 13 percent of its staff — approximately 19 people, across its offices both in Toronto and US offices.
“As you can imagine, this is difficult, we have a strong culture and we painstakingly built the company where we try to get the right people and have a good culture fit,” said Jim Williams, vice president of marketing for Influitive. “Influitive has painstakingly hired an exceptional and diverse group of people, some of whom we parted ways with today. We are better for their contributions and will do as much as possible to help them find their next roles and succeed there.”
Williams indicated the layoffs were a matter of the company growing too fast, too quickly.
Influitive’s B2B advocate marketing platform, AdvocateHub, allows marketers to leverage customer references, success stories, and product reviews to reach buyers relying more on peer recommendation. Williams told BetaKit that the layoffs affect employees “spread out across departments,” but developers were the least impacted.
“Many venture-backed companies are adjusting their business operating plan to focus on sustainability. We’re no different in that regard,” Williams said, adding that investors favour efficient over absolute growth. “We’re backed by investors and a number of investors after the first quarter of this year have been much more conservative.”
However, Williams denied any direct pressure from investors. “We need to see a path to profitability, and for us that involves bringing cost into line with revenues, and like many companies our size, our primary cost driver is people,” he said.
After the layoffs, Influitive’s employee count now stands at 144 — including former Salesforce senior director Jesse Goldman, who recently joined the company as vice president of customer success. To date, the company has raised a total of $49.9 million, including a $30.5 million Series B in July 2015, and an $8.2 million Series B extension in March. In March alone, Influitive acquired two mobile companies, Ironark Software and Triggerfox.
Williams said that acquiring the two companies did not add a significant strain on the company’s finances, indicating that it was a matter of the company growing too fast, too quickly.
“Fast-growing startups build a business plan based on results, so over the last couple of years with the influx of venture dollars, our business has grown and with revenue potential, we staff up and get talent because good people are what ensures the business plan,” said Williams. “That’s changing, there’s a long list of companies where they need to adjust their plans, and it’s not about growth in headcount. It’s about efficient growth, and quite frankly, setting up for the long-term.”