In a dear team email, Maju Kuruvilla, CEO of Bolt, announced the company would be reducing the size of its workforce. Kuruvilla has only been CEO of Bolt for a few short months having taken over company leadership in February 2022. Prior to that, he had been the company’s Chief Technology Officer.
Bolt is a checkout Fintech that provides one-click transactions thus streamlining the purchase process. In the past five years, Bolt has raised nearly $1 billion, expanded internationally into Europe and Asia, and grown by more than 1000 team members and 300+ retailers. In October of 2021, Bolt raised $393 million to fuel further expansion which appears to be on hold now.
Kuruvilla explained as to why the company would let be letting employees go:
“It’s no secret that the market conditions across our industry and the tech sector are changing, and against the macro challenges, we’ve been taking measures to adapt our business. In an effort to ensure Bolt owns its own destiny, the leadership team and I have made the decision to secure our financial position, extend our runway, and reach profitability with the money we have already raised.”
While Q1 venture funding was relatively robust chatter among VCs indicates an environment where money is less available with more down rounds and more focus on sustainability or profitability. For early-stage firms, which frequently have a high burn rate as management targets rapid growth, this means a future round may not arrive so better keep the powder dry until the economy sorts itself out.
Bolt is not the first well-known Fintech to reduce employee headcount. Just recently, Klarna announced it was cutting the number of employees by 10%. Expect more early-stage firms, and Fintechs in general, to make similar announcements.