Canadian design startup loses 80% organic traffic after rebrand

Looka, the Toronto-based startup that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to design logos, has laid off 80 percent of its employees, BetaKit has learned. Formerly known as Logojoy, Looka sat at 40 employees prior to the layoffs, which occurred in two rounds in mid to late October. Looka has confirmed the layoffs to BetaKit.…

Canadian design startup loses 80% organic traffic after rebrand

Looka, the Toronto-based startup that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to design logos, has laid off 80 percent of its employees, BetaKit has learned.
Formerly known as Logojoy, Looka sat at 40 employees prior to the layoffs, which occurred in two rounds in mid to late October. Looka has confirmed the layoffs to BetaKit. The startup has been pared down to a team of just eight, with a total of 32 employees laid off. The layoffs were company-wide, affecting every department, including marketing, product, development, customer service, and operations.
“Rebrand, they said. It’ll be great, they said.” – Dawson Whitfield, CEO of Looka
The layoffs come just six months after the company launched a rebrand, not only changing its name to Looka, but expanding its product line beyond logos to brand packages that included logo files, brand guidelines, social media assets, and business card designs.
 
Dawson Whitfield, CEO and co-founder of Looka, told BetaKit that it was this decision to rebrand and move into new verticals that led Looka to financial difficulties and layoffs. “Rebrand, they said. It’ll be great, they said,” Whitfield lamented.
Dawson Whitfield, co-founder & CEO, Looka.
The CEO explained that with the rebrand the company expected and was ready to see a 20 to 30 percent drop in organic traffic due to the domain switch. “That was sort of the standard [of] what to expect, 20 to 30 percent. And expected to recover in three to six months,” Whitfield told BetaKit.
Unfortunately, that recovery never took place. Whitfield claimed that with the domain switch from logojoy.com to looka.com, Looka ended up losing 80 percent of its organic traffic, which had previously accounted for 50 percent of the company’s revenue.
“But even still, if it were covered by the new year it would still be okay and we would make it through that,” Whitfield added. “But essentially, it recently
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