Casper is the latest direct-to-consumer startup to announce significant layoffs in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Today, the six-year-old brand laid off 78 employees from the corporate team, which makes up 21% of its total corporate workforce. The company is also winding down its European operations and its 31-person headquarters in Germany, according to a person familiar with the matter. The other employees who were laid off came from various departments, including marketing and product development. According to a statement from the company, this will result in “more than $10 million in annualized savings, and are part of the company’s overall focus on achieving profitability.” Greg Macfarlane, Casper’s CFO and COO, will depart the company in May.
This follows news on March 30 that the brand furloughed all 500 of its retail employees at its 62 brick-and-mortar stores. The company said it would continue to give those workers health insurance.
It’s a startling fall for a company that as recently as last year was valued at $1.1 billion. Since Casper launched in 2014, venture capital investors had pumped $340 million into the company. In February of this year, the brand had a highly anticipated IPO, but it flopped. On its first day as a publicly traded company, the company raised $100 million in the offering, valuing the company at $500 million, revealing that the company was wildly overvalued by private investors. Casper’s financial filings to the SEC in the lead-up to the IPO showed that the company had lost nearly $100 million a year over the previous two years. In December 2019, before the IPO and the coronavirus crisis, Casper laid off 30 employees as part of a corporate reorganization, according to Bloomberg. In its statement, released today, the company says it hopes to achieve profitability by mid-2021.
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Casper is one of several fast-growing direct-to-consumer companies that have laid off employees in recent weeks, including Everlane, Away, and Thirdlove. In an Instagram Stories post, one employee named James who was laid off from Casper today said he was devastated about losing his job, but he’s trying to stay optimistic. “Though I am unsure what tomorrow holds, I do know that before tomorrow must come a good night’s sleep,” he wrote.
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