UK payments unicorn GoCardless is to cut 17% of staff in a bid to shave 15% off its cost base and rediscover its scrappy startup energy
The move will entail the redundancy of 135 roles, reducing the firm's global headcount in the UK, ANZ and US from over 900 to under 800.
Additionally, the senior leadership team will be slimmed down by 25% and 59 new open roles waiting for fulfilment will be closed.
In a blog post announcing the move, CEO Hiroki Takeuchi says: "In light of the current economic environment, we have decided to focus our efforts on the core areas of our business and reduce our investment in initiatives with longer term payback. The changes we are announcing today will get us within touching distance of profitability in the near future."
Takeuchi has come under fire from staff earmarked for departure by implying in previous communications that many positions were not pulling their weight.
"I heard that there was a lack of humility in acknowledging the part that our leadership, and more specifically I have played in getting to this point," Takeuchi responds. "To be honest, this hurt a lot as I know how much the rest of the exec team and I feel responsible for this situation. However, on reflection, I can see how this came across. In our rush to get everything done, I missed that acknowledgement in last week’s communications. We fully recognise our part to play in this and that as a leadership team we have not delivered. Please believe me when I say we are all soul searching to reflect on how we do better in future."
Nonetheless, Takeuchi will be pushing remaining staff to work harder at a faster, more intense pace.
"Increasing our level of urgency will inject more energy into our working environment," he says. "Being hungrier to win will create the opportunity for huge personal growth. My hope is that the changes we make will help us to recapture some of the start-up spirit that I fear we lost as we have scaled the company."
Gocardless joined the unicorn club in February last year, when it secured a Series G funding round of $312 million at a valuation of $2.1 billion.