On board, Tech Capital and Advice, which connects founders with each other, has announced another round of layoffs three months after laying off a quarter of its employees. Sources say more than 100 people, about half of the total workforce, will be laid off due to workforce reductions, while the company — which confirmed the layoff to TechCrunch in an email — said 73 full-time workers have been laid off.
An On Deck spokesman said he had no further comment on the difference in numbers and whether many people were affected in different employment situations. The company is offering eight weeks of severance, a three-month accelerated option and three months of health coverage to all those who leave the company. Those interested in hiring underserved talent can request a list of people looking for new roles.
OnDeck, not to be confused with small business lender OnDeck, is a company that provides capital and networking support to emerging fund managers and founders. Launched in June 2019, the company first announced Founders Fellowship and has recently expanded to offer more exclusive programs at specific verticals.
It’s that broad focus that led co-founders David Booth and Eric Thorenberg to back the company’s character. “Over the past two years of tremendous growth, On Deck has launched communities that serve more than ten thousand founders and professionals. Our team has worked tirelessly to expand and cover a wide area,” the two wrote in a blog post about the team’s layoffs. “However, this broad focus has also led to significant tensions. What we always envisioned as a strength – serving multiple user groups and building flywheels among them – broke our focus and our brand.
The startup said it has sunk into many communities and the layoffs have affected all levels and all departments. Although he claims that no executive has been cut, this contradicts this claim. On Deck is also spinning off its career development arm to “focus on developing learning communities for mid-career professionals looking to accelerate their careers.” The operation is led by former Community Director Mindaugas Petroutis and serves On Deck’s contemporary design, engineering, data science, marketing, business development and sales, staffing and no-code communities.
“Allowing our founder and career programs to operate under separate entities, led by people who are passionate about these communities, allows each team to focus on the needs of their core customers and ultimately deliver better results,” the company told TechCrunch. In the description.
A spokeswoman said OnDeck’s career development business is “minimum revenue generating” so it doesn’t need much additional capital — beyond some seed money the company has already provided — to get started. The name of the new company is still being worked out.
Specifically, after serving 10,000 founders to date, On Deck is now focused exclusively on helping early-stage founders build scale. The other programs, ie those aimed at professionals, will either sunset or return to a new company.
It contrasts with the tone Thorenberg and Booth used in their final resignations. In an email obtained by TechCrunch, the co-founders discussed challenges surrounding the company’s recently launched ODX accelerator.
“In 2021, we launched ODX, our accelerator. We saw an opportunity to try our hand at stand up speed market innovation. By many accounts, we succeeded in this goal,” the email read. “Unfortunately, at the same time the market began to change dramatically. A few months later, the capital and momentum markets were very different from when we started. These factors have forced us to think and think about how we can continue on deck into the future, support our communities and ensure long-term sustainability.
While the accelerator may need to scale back, On Deck teased a return to its founder-centric roots in May. The company has also relaunched the On Deck Founders platform, which helps startups grow through IRL and virtual programming, as well as the On Deck Scale program, which helps founders find the best leaders behind high-growth businesses.
Sources speculated that the first round of layoffs was due to the fact that On Deck Runway was only nine months away. The startup finally raised a well-known venture capital fund in March 2021, a $20 million Series A round led by Founders Fund.
While the startup didn’t say whether it plans to raise capital soon, it says it has enough capital to hold runways for more than three years.
Mike Butcher contributed reporting to this story.