Bolt lays off employees as payments startup fights biggest customer lawsuit

Checkout payments startup Bolt on Wednesday became the latest tech startup to lay off employees in an increasingly brutal market.

CEO Maju Kuruvilla broke the news in a note to employees, writing that the company is “reducing the size of our workforce and as of today we are separating with some incredibly talented people on our team.”

A Bolt source told The Post that Kuruvilla said about a third of the company was being laid off. That figure includes about 130 US and Canadian workers who were laid off on Wednesday, as well as more than 100 European workers whose jobs will be terminated in the coming days, the source said.

Many of Bolt’s laid-off employees immediately took to the corporate message board Blind to look for new jobs.

“We got ratcheted up,” wrote a Bolt employee.

Another employee wrote, “It’s a tough day for Bolt as many of us were affected by the layoffs.” “It has become increasingly clear over the past few weeks that it is coming but it is difficult to swallow all that.”

A spreadsheet containing the contact information of more than 100 Bolt employees looking for jobs was circulating on Twitter on Wednesday. The list included employees from engineering, marketing, sales and many other departments.

Bolt CEO Maju Kuruvilla said the company aims to "Reach profitability with the money we've already raised."
Bolt CEO Mazu Kuruvilla said the company aims to “reach profitability with the money we’ve already raised.”

Bolt spokesman Brett Stanton did not respond to questions about how many employees were affected. Founder and President Ryan Breslow did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Breslow made headlines in January when he accused payments rival Stripe, as well as venture capital giants Sequoia and Y Combinator, of plotting to sink Bolt. He called Silicon Valley a “boys club” full of “mob bosses.” A few days later, Breslow handed over the reins of CEO to Kuruvilla and became chairman of Bolt’s board.

Breslow also made headlines for establishing a four-day workweek at the company.

authentic brand group
The Authentic Brands Group, which is Bolt’s largest customer, is suing Bolt for breach of contract.
authentic brand group
Bolt makes checkout payment technology.
Bolt makes checkout payment technology.

In April, The Post reported that Bolt — which had previously raised funds at an $11 billion valuation in January — had seen the value of its shares fall by as much as 50% in the secondary market, raising the possibility that Bolt would raise more. could fight for. money without significantly reducing its valuation.

In Kuruvilla’s note about the layoffs on Wednesday, the CEO said that Bolt’s goal was to “secure our financial position, expand our runway, and reach profitability with the money we’ve already raised.”

Bolt is also fighting lawsuits against its biggest customer, the Authentic Brands Group — the owner of the label, including Brooks Brothers, Forever 21 and Lucky Brand. The retailer has accused Bolt of failing to deliver the software on time.

Tech firms including Netflix, PayPal, Klarna, Robinhood, Getir and Carvana have all laid off employees in recent weeks.



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