Read Protech Startup Ribbon by Email Sent Singalling More Layoffs

  • Ribbon’s CEO told employees via email that the impending layoffs would be “deeper” than expected.
  • The company offers everything in cash already laid off 40% of its employees in July.
  • This would be fair one of many proptechs who have reduced this month.

Another and potentially large round of layoffs at proptech startup Ribbon is imminent, with cuts to be announced as early as Monday, according to an email to employees from CEO Shaival Shah sent Nov. 15.

Although Shah did not specify the number of layoffs in the email, which was reviewed by Insider, he wrote that they would be “deeper” than the company initially anticipated, and that the severance starting point “differs” from the initial plans. The company laid off 139 employees – around 40% of its workforce – this summer, which left the company with around 200 employees on its payroll.

Shah and a spokesperson for Ribbon did not provide Insider with a comment on the email or the layoffs at the time of publication.

Inman recently reported Ribbon’s suspended cash offering service.

Ribbon, founded in 2017 by Shah and CTO Wei Gan, offers software for real estate agents and interim financing for homebuyers looking to better compete with cash offers. Investors like Goldman Sachs and Greylock have provided $900 million in funding since its inception.

The staff cuts would represent just the latest round of layoffs in the proptech and mortgage sectors, which were battered in 2022 by soaring interest rates and falling demand. Sales of existing homes in the United States fell for the ninth consecutive month in October, the National Association of Realtors announced on Friday.

Among recent layoffs, online brokerage Redfin closed its iBuying business earlier this month and laid off 862 employees, or 13% of its workforce, after cutting 6% of its workforce in June. Meanwhile, iBuyer Opendoor laid off 18% of its workforce – some 550 employees – earlier in the month. Like Ribbon, these companies blamed the cooling housing market and widespread economic uncertainty.

Tech company layoffs have also exploded far beyond the niche covered by Ribbon, Opendoor and Redfin. Behemoths like Twitter, Amazon and Meta have cut thousands of jobs this month, in total, with more likely to come.

Shah said “Ribbon’s situation has changed significantly” after talks with Ribbon funders. He encouraged employees to focus on their “self-care.”

“During the time of uncertainty, we are asking team members who are not in contact with customers or finances to focus on their work to take care of themselves, spend time with their families and do things that bring you comfort. We ask that you remain ‘on call’ in case your support is needed to bring about a resolution as soon as possible,” he said in the email.

Read the rest of Ribbon’s email here:

Crew,

First of all, thank you for your patience during this difficult time for Ribbon. We know this has been a difficult week and we apologize for sharing this information so late in the day.

The company’s situation has changed considerably since our last email announcing the upcoming downsizing (RIF). This is mainly due to ongoing discussions with our funding partners.

I know we’ve mentioned this before, but RIF will have to go much deeper based on the events of the last few months and the uncertainty of what lies ahead. Business circumstances continue to evolve and unfortunately severance packages will differ from what we originally thought was achievable. We sincerely regret having to send you this note and will only make this change if absolutely necessary.

We’ll have a specific answer and decision to share with everyone on Monday. We know everyone is anxious and we work with the different counterparts on a daily basis. If we were able to finalize sooner, we will definitely share with you sooner.

During the time of uncertainty, we are asking team members who are not in contact with customers or finances to focus on their work to take care of themselves, spend time with their families and do things that comfort you. We ask that you remain “on call” in case your support is needed to reach a resolution as soon as possible.

It’s never where we planned to be or wanted to be. We want to thank you for helping to build something important that has impacted the lives of so many people.

With deep gratitude,

Shaival and Wei

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