Former tech darling Dapper Labs is continuing a downward trajectory.
The Vancouver-born startup spun out of startup studio Axoim Zen in 2017 and shot toward fame through 2021 via non-fungible tokens and its Flow blockchain.
However, Dapper has been experiencing a reversal of fortune over the past year.
It began last November when the crypto firm laid off nearly 150 staff, one year after raising a USD$250 million funding round which valued the digital collectibles startup at over $7 billion.
2022 was not rosy in general: more than 150,000 tech workers were laid off globally across nearly 1,000 companies, according to data from aggregator Layoffs.fyi.
And, moreover, trading volumes in NFTs—the digital collectibles recorded on blockchains that Dapper has made its name off—tumbled 97%. Some have called it a “crypto winter.”
An uncertain economy and drastic fluctuations in the company’s key market have proven a perfect storm for Dapper to contend with, which CEO Roham Gharegozlou believes is possible.
Gharegozlou stated in February that the layoffs were “to improve our focus and efficiency, strengthening our position in the market and better serving our communities.”
At the time he said Dapper Labs “remains in a strong cash position with no outstanding debt,” adding that he was “tremendously excited about several major launches coming up this year.”
He promised a “huge year” ahead, with new IP launches as well as re-launches.
Unfortunately for Dapper’s team, yet another wave of layoffs has hit the BC tech company. Gharegozlou confirmed the termination of 51 staff on Twitter.
However, the chief executive remains optimistic. Gharegozlou said in a statement that, despite this trimming of fat, “Dapper Labs are Flow are well capitalized to pursue our mission.”