January was a month of significant layoffs in the global tech sector, with Silicon Valley giants—Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Amazon—starring in one of the worst waves of layoffs. Nearly 70,000 have been laid off so far this year, according to layoffs.fyi, a website that tracks startup dismissals. 

In LatAm, the wave was also powerful, with startups and technology companies making significant job cuts, several of them well-known companies in the regional ecosystem. Here are the details of each case.

Unico. The Brazilian unicorn, dedicated to identity authentication, with over 15 years in the industry, laid off 10.5% of its staff, about 110 employees. The company issued a statement citing reasons such as operational efficiency and new market needs.

Betterfly. The Chilean company, which offers companies a life insurance policy for workers who grow with their healthy habits, cut 30% of its regional workforce. In addition to Chile, it is present in Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. In the middle of last year, it had made layoffs in Chile and Brazil, but not of this magnitude. In an extensive letter, the CEO gave some reasons, such as the global economic environment and that the company will enter a new stage of greater efficiency. 

Domestika. The Spanish startup of online courses, which presents itself as “the largest learning community of creative disciplines in the world,” laid off workers in its Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Argentina offices. The country manager in Brazil stated that the layoffs were due to operational efficiency. By April 2022, they had already laid off 150 workers worldwide. 

Tul. The Colombian hardware supply company, one of the best-capitalized startups in the country, laid off more than 100 employees, according to Valora Analitik. In a statement, the company blamed the current economic situation and informed that the layoffs were in its offices in Colombia and Mexico (not in Brazil, where it has been operating for less than a year). 

PagSeguro. The Brazilian digital bank, the second with the most clients in Brazil, laid off 7% of its staff: 500 employees. In a statement, the company, which has been publicly traded since 2018, linked the layoffs to the global landscape of fintech and tech companies. The media outlet Brazilian Report noted that PagSeguro’s shares had fallen almost 58% in the last 12 months. They recently dropped sharply because a competitor, Rede (owned by Itaú Unibanco), launched a product that allows merchants to cash advances in just two days. 

More layoffs in Brazil. The Layoffs Tracker site tracks releases globally in companies and recorded several cases in Brazil this month. There are the e-commerce Enjoei (10% of its workforce) and Meliuz (10%) and PagBank (7%), the blockchain gaming startup Bayz (50%), the digital bank Will Bank (no details) and the platform for students PartYou (with 30 workers laid off).

 

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