Clubhouse, the once towering social audio app built by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth, has laid off more than half its staff. The startup’s co-founders made the decision in response to changing customer habits in a post-Covid world and the complexities of remote work, according to a blog post.
Those affected will receive severance and continued health care coverage for the next few months. A Clubhouse spokeswoman declined to comment on the number of people affected by today’s layoffs or the number of employees remaining at the company. Last October, Davison told TechCrunch that Clubhouse has about 100 employees.
Their layoffs come less than a year after the company laid off some employees as part of another restructuring. “A few individuals have decided to pursue new opportunities and a few roles have been eliminated in streamlining our team. We continue to recruit for roles in engineering, product and design,” the company further told TechCrunch.
The social app, backed by more than $100 million in venture capital and once valued at $4 billion by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global and Elad Gill, has taken a different tone in today’s big layoffs.
“As the world has opened up post-Covid, many people have found it difficult to meet friends at the clubhouse and fit long conversations into their daily lives. The product needs to improve to find its role in the world,” the co-founders wrote in a blog post. He further wrote that the business tried to change to the current team size but could not succeed due to the size of the team. “It’s difficult for us to communicate the plan to cross-functional teams when it’s growing by 1% per day, or to make rapid changes when each page is owned by a different product team. Being remote makes it especially difficult for us.”
Unlike many entrepreneurs, the co-founders did not mention the economy when they announced their resignations. Instead, Clubhouse seems to be responding to the complexities of hiring and the remote work environment, both in terms of running a business internally and building something people want externally.
“Our belief is that as the world opens up, a couple of things are going to happen: There’s going to be a very urgent need to have a place where you can go and be around your friends and meet their friends and have good conversations. And I think that audio production is designed to be hands-free, so you can be multitasking… that’s what we’re building.” I think the trend is sustainable.philosophy around social audio and remote work.
On stage, he also responded to the ongoing criticism and criticism surrounding his fall from grace in the clubhouse. “The best thing about doing this a few times in advance is that you don’t get caught up in your own self-talk. When things go like gangbusters, when things get tough, you say we’re going to check this out, that’s going to come down.
Going forward, the Clubhouse Small Team will focus on building “Clubhouse 2.0.”
“With remote living, empty scrolling and zoom meetings becoming more common, this is more true than ever. We have a clear vision of what Clubhouse 2.0 will look like, and we believe in the ability to iterate quickly with a small team in detail, build the right product, and credit our teammates for helping us get here. He says. TechCrunch reached out to several Clubhouse investors, and many said they still don’t know what the rest of the team there is up to. Last year, Davison cited the club’s move away from “live podcast” and streaming features and into private rooms, threatening internal conversations.
The business still has time to provide more answers. Clubhouse has confirmed it has “years of runway left” and now has more thanks to today’s layoffs. The company is not yet issuing a hiring ban, a spokesperson said.
Clubhouse insiders can reach Natasha Masarenhas on Twitter @nmasc_ or Signal at +1 925 271 0912. Identity requests will be honored.