OpenSea, a massive NFT marketplace, has laid off roughly 20% of its workforce
OpenSea co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer announced this afternoon that the NFT marketplace is laying off approximately 20% of its workforce. Finzer did not say how many people that amounted to. The company employed more than 70 people, according to a Forbes article in January celebrating Finzer and his co-founder Alex Atallah’s $2.2 billion net worth (each), but an OpenSea spokesperson tells The Verge that 230 people will remain with the company.
When we profiled OpenSea in February, it had just received an additional $300 million in funding and a valuation of $13.3 billion, and it was the dominant player in selling the tokens, earning a 2.5 percent commission on trades.
Nonetheless, a sustained drop in activity and prices has resulted in headlines about how NFT Sales Are Flatlining or Have Fallen Off the Cliff, while the backlash against the entire concept has followed many companies that have adopted or suggested they might. Reddit recently launched an NFT Collectible Avatars feature without explicitly mentioning the term, and just today, a Sony marketing executive had to dismiss gamers’ concerns that a new digital collectibles feature would bring the blockchain and NFTs to its PS5s.
It’s the latest in a long line of Web3 companies that grew rapidly in recent years as cryptocurrency prices skyrocketed and are now downsizing. Finzer stated that the company was able to personally notify affected employees prior to announcing the layoffs, providing “generous” severance, healthcare for the remainder of the year, job placement assistance, and accelerated equity vesting.