John Crain, CEO of NFT marketplace SuperRare, announced yesterday, January 6, that the company has laid off 30% of its staff. The decision came amid the prolonged crypto winter the crypto and NFT industry has been lately grappling with. Taking to Twitter, Crain shared a screenshot of a Slack message to his staff, detailing the reasons for the “tough news”. Let’s take a closer look at why SuperRare cut its staff.
Why did SuperRare lay off 30% of its staff?
On Friday, SuperRare Labs CEO, John Crain announced that the company had to “part ways” with about 30% of its staff. He noted that SuperRare Labs “overhired” to compensate for its growth during the NFT market’s earlier bull run.
“Startups are a balancing act of managing rapid growth while doing everything possible to conserve limited resources,” Crain wrote. “During the recent bull run, we grew in tandem with the market. In recent months it’s become clear that this aggressive growth was unsustainable: we over-hired, and take full ownership of this mistake.”
“To correct course, we’ve made the difficult decision to rightsize our team,” he added. “…Ensuring that SuperRare Labs will be able to continue serving our community of artists, collectors and curators while remaining the destination for the best cryptoart in the world.”
What is the SuperRare NFT marketplace?
SuperRare is an exclusive crypto art marketplace which allows users to sell and collect digital artwork. Launched in 2018, the marketplace caters exclusively to NFT art. In other words, it is the go-to marketplace for everything from conceptual art to illustrations and NFT photography. Based on the Ethereum blockchain, it features only the most talented and popular up-and-coming artists.
In March 2021, SuperRare raised $9 million in a Series A round of funding. The round was led by Velvet Sea Ventures and 1confirmation, with participation from celebrities like Mark Cuban, Marc Benioff, and Ashton Kutcher.
Which other Web3 companies have cut their staff?
Unfortunately, SuperRare NFT marketplace is not the first Web3 company to lay off its staff—and it probably won’t be the last. Back in June 2022, for example, crypto exchange Coinbase cut its workforce by around 18%. At the time, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong noted that the company “grew too quickly” in the bull market. Amid a looming recession, the company decided to lay off 1,100 employees.
Later, in July, top NFT marketplace OpenSea cut about 20% of its workforce due to “crypto winter and broad macroeconomic instability”. According to CEO Devin Finzer, the company needed to prepare “for the possibility of a prolonged downturn.” Nonetheless, the top executive was hopeful that the drastic measure would put OpenSea in a position to “become the largest market on the planet.”
Companies like Gemini, Crypto.com, and Meta have also cut their workforce. In fact, Meta let go of over 11,000 employees (about 13% of its staff) across its apps and Reality Labs segments.