The meteoric rise of restaurant ordering and payment platform Mr Yum has erupted, and the company has announced it will cut more than 40 jobs globally, with CEO and co-founder Kim Teo admitting they’ve “increased our workforce too quickly”.
Less than nine months after raising $89 million in Australia’s third-biggest Series A led by US VC giant Tiger Global, Teo told the Mr Yum team that they’d decided to buy about 17% of the current lay off staff “to extend our runway while the capital markets remain. insecure”.
All told, the software startup has raised more than $100 million in just six months.
In May, Mr Yum acquired fellow Melbourne startup MyGuestlist and its subsidiary CRM platform Sprout for an undisclosed price, bringing the global team to 260 people, meaning about 45 jobs will be lost in the cuts.
Teo shared “the heartbreaking news” wider on LinkedInsaid the decision was “in line with a more focused strategy and structure to better support our customers, product vision and growth as capital markets recover”.
“Our team is so close it feels like a part of us is missing,” she wrote.
“I’m so grateful for how our entire team handled this today – with empathy, strength and camaraderie.”
She offered to share an opt-in list of the layoffs with other startups looking to recruit.
In an email to staff, Teo said they “fully accept and own the rapid increase in the workforce”, and that the decision to cut spending was made “after a thorough examination of all options available”.
“We assumed the strong economic environment would continue into 2022; instead, conditions deteriorated rapidly in May when we first communicated the situation with you, and capital markets have remained soft ever since,” she wrote.
“Every function will be affected as we reduce roles that are no longer aligned with a more focused strategy for our long-term vision. We intend not to have to cut the workforce again and move forward with a more capital efficient structure that will support our growth in all markets.”
The company is giving redundant staff an additional six weeks of severance pay on top of the standard notice period and accelerated vesting of stock options until the startup’s next milestone, and 3 months of mental health care.
“Please know that this is in no way a reflection of your contributions to the company and our culture,” Teo wrote.
Earlier this month, Mr Yum was one of nine tech companies chosen for LaunchVic’s 30×30 program, which aims to build startups valued at “unicorn” — $1 billion — by 2030.