Bird is the latest startup hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, Bird laid off about 30% of its employees amid the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, TechCrunch has learned.
“The unprecedented COVID-19 crisis has forced our leadership team and the board of directors to make many extremely difficult and painful decisions relating to some of your teammates,” Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden wrote to staffers in a memo, obtained by TechCrunch, today. “As you know, we’ve had to pause many markets around the world and drastically cut spending. Due to the financial and operational impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we are saying goodbye to about 30% of our team.”
Bird has confirmed the layoffs and says it is providing four weeks of pay, three months of health coverage* and an extended time frame of 12 months to exercise their stock options. According to a source, Bird’s balance sheet is strong but it needed to reduce burn in order to extend its runway into 2021.
Bird’s layoffs come shortly after news broke that Lime is looking for a funding round that would cut its valuation from $2.4 billion to $400 million.
Last week Bird and Lime suspended their respective services in response to the pandemic.
Bird is not the only startup forced to have layoffs amid the crisis. As The Information reported earlier this week, layoffs are accelerating across Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, Lime is reportedly considering laying off up to 70 people in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Here’s the full memo VanderZanden sent this morning:
We’ve watched the COVID-19 pandemic radically and quickly transform our lives, the world, and our business in less than a month. This once in a decade black swan event presents one of the greatest challenges in history because of the viral impact it has not just on our health, but also on our lives—our families, friends, communities, finances, work, emotions—the list goes on.
The unprecedented COVID-19 crisis has forc
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