Bitso. The Mexican unicorn and one of the largest exchanges in the continent, with operations in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina, made its second wave of layoffs this week after having dismissed 80 employees in May. The news came from former employees communicating their layoffs on social media networks. The Brazilian media Portal Do Bitcoin reported that it would be about 100 people, considering only its offices in Brazil and Mexico. Later, the company issued a statement without giving further details and claiming “appropriate structural adjustments” and that it intends to continue being a regional leader. According to unidentified sources quoted by Bloomberg Linea, the layoffs are due to the global crisis in the crypto world in recent weeks sparked by the FTX case. 

Wildlife Studios. The Brazilian mobile video game company, also a unicorn, valued at US$3 billion and backed by funds such as Benchmark, laid off 20% of its staff this week, which according to its website, was more than 800 employees. The company confirmed the news, although it specified that the layoffs affected its non-mobile gaming projects. “We have halted our initiatives outside of the mobile gaming space to focus more on what has made the company successful, game development,” they stated. 

Plerk. The Mexican corporate employee benefits startup, which had a US$12 million Series A in August, laid off about 40% of its staff this week, as revealed by one of its founders, Miguel Medina, in a LinkedIn post. He wrote that it was “one of the hardest decisions, but I’m sure it’s the right thing to do for Plerk” and that 2023 is shaping up to be a complicated year for raising capital. “All of us founders are optimizing runway, so we don’t rely on outside investment next year,” he said. The runway is the amount of cash startups must have to survive a certain amount of time. 

Ualá. The Argentine personal finance fintech laid off 53 people in the region, CEO Pierpaolo Barbieri said on social media, where he implies that it is due to the “hyper-growth” of the company this year, which bought three companies and reached 1550 employees across the region. “These acquisitions created great opportunities, as well as duplicate positions and other operational inefficiencies,” he said.

Kavak. The layoffs at this Mexican unicorn with a region-wide presence have been coming for two weeks. They began in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Peru, and this week it was the turn of its office in Argentina, where around 200 employees were reportedly laid off. In mid-November, cuts had been made throughout the region, although their extent is difficult to establish due to the company’s secrecy in this matter. Bloomberg Línea reported that the reduction of personnel would have been due to the recommendation of the consulting firm McKinsey. 

Lemon Cash. “Today, I have some sad news to share with you, news that no entrepreneur wants to give. I decided to reduce the size of our team by 38%”. So begins a post by Marcelo Cavazzoli, CEO and founder of this digital wallet for fiat and crypto money, one of the pioneers in LatAm in this area. There, he said that it was due to the recession and that it was “the right decision to make the company sustainable without the need for new investments in the coming years”. He dismissed that it had anything to do with the FTX case and clarified that it was no longer part of his investment portfolio. 


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