The crowdfunding platform Patreon has announced that 80 employees, or roughly 17% of the workforce, will be laid off and that its Dublin and Berlin locations will be shut down. According to a blog post written by CEO and co-founder Jack Conte, the layoffs are occurring because the company is reevaluating its strategy after attempting rapid expansion during the pandemic and realizing it cannot succeed. There will be layoffs in "operations, recruiting, and other internal support functions," and the marketing and advertising budget will be cut.
Team members in Patreon's "go to market," "operations," "finance," and "people" departments are being let go. Workers in the United States will receive three months' worth of severance pay plus two additional weeks for every half year of service beyond the first year. Americans have COBRA through the end of 2022, while European workers get a similar deal with three months of healthcare coverage. To discuss the decision, Conte has promised "multiple Q&A sessions."
Patreon is closing two of its European offices and offering nine engineers in Ireland the opportunity to relocate to the United States, on top of the layoffs.
Last week, Patreon fired its entire security team of five people, setting the stage for Tuesday's overhaul. The company's US policy head, Ellen Satterwhite, assured The Verge at the time that the layoffs would not affect the company's "ability to continue providing a secure and safe platform for our creators and patrons." In his Tuesday post, Conte addressed the issue of security again, saying that the previous layoffs were "part of a longer-term strategy to continue distributing security responsibilities across our entire engineering team."
Concerns about the economy and rising inflation have led many businesses to reduce their workforces, and Patreon is hardly an exception. Snap earlier this month laid off about 20% of its workforce and cancelled its original shows and other projects. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have been laid off this summer at companies like Netflix, Wayfair, Rivian, Ford, Tesla, Shopify, Peloton, and many cryptocurrency startups.