Checkout Startup Bolt Lays Off More Than 200 People, Or At Least 25% Of Its Staff


Bolt, the one-click checkout startup valued at $11 billion, has laid off about 240 employees.

CEO Maju Kuruvilla announced the layoffs in a Slack message to Bolt staff on Wednesday morning. The company did not announce how many people were being let go, but a Google spreadsheet compiling affected employees had more than 100 names listed as of Wednesday evening—comprising more than 10% of the company’s total workforce. The number of people on the company’s Slack channel dropped to 660 from about 900.

Sales and marketing were hit especially hard, sources tell Forbes, though the spreadsheet indicates layoffs across other departments including engineering and product. Most or all of the sales development representatives team was laid off, according to two people who were affected by the layoffs. The company last raised $355 million in January and employed more than 900 employees after acquiring crypto startup Wyre in April.

As recently as last month, the company had told employees at an all-hands meeting it had 24 months of runway, according to two people who were present. However, the company appears to have fallen behind on its business metrics. Bolt said in January that it was targeting 100 million shoppers by mid 2023, but a source said that goal was behind track, hovering at less than 15 million people currently.

Reached for comment, a Bolt spokesperson only said the company was “focused on our people today” and referred Forbes to a copy of Kuruvilla’s Slack message, which was posted to the company’s website.

“In an effort to ensure Bolt owns its own destiny, the leadership team and I have made the decision to secure our financial position, extend our runway, and reach profitability with the money we have already raised.” Kuruvilla wrote. The message alludes to the market conditions in the tech industry as impetus for the layoffs.

The drop in head count on Slack was first reported in the New York Times.

The layoffs are the latest chapter of turbulence for Bolt, which earlier this year brought on Kuruvilla to take over the CEO role from cofounder Ryan Breslow, who stepped down and became executive chair. Weeks prior, Breslow had published a controversial Twitter thread that alleged that fintech giant Stripe and startup accelerator and fund Y Combinator were “mob bosses” that were preventing Bolt from raising new funds. (Forbes profiled Breslow last month, in the aftermath of those events.)

The Information reported last month that Bolt’s revenue had stalled and that its customer count had declined in 2021 from the year prior. Authentic Brands Group, a major customer, sued Bolt, alleging that it cost the Forever 21 parent company $150 million in lost sales, as first reported in Bloomberg.



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Divyansh Singh

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