Ethereum-based non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea is reacting to the crypto bear market by laying off one-fifth of its employees.
In a new post, OpenSea CEO and co-founder Devin Finzer shared with his 67,400 Twitter followers a letter sent to all company team members in which he cites the prospect of an extended winter amid wider economic uncertainty.
Finzer said it was “a hard day” as OpenSea planned to let go of around 20% of its workforce, saying in the note,
“We’ve been through winter before, and we built this company with the cyclicality of crypto in mind. We’ve also built a very strong balance sheet through the money we’ve raised and the product-market fit we’ve proven.
Nevertheless, the reality is that we have entered an unprecedented combination of crypto winter and broad macroeconomic instability, and we need to prepare the company for the possibility of a prolonged downturn.”
Laid-off employees will receive severance pay, extended healthcare coverage and job-seeking assistance, according to the firm.
Regarding OpenSea’s outlook for the future, the CEO says that times of economic stress can be used to double down on one’s mission and continue building.
“When the global economy is uncertain, our mission to build a foundational layer for new, peer-to-peer economies feels more urgent and important than ever.
During this winter, I expect that we’ll see an explosion in innovation and utility across NFTs.
Winter is our time to build.”
DappRadar, the world’s biggest decentralized application tracker, notes that NFT volume on the leading marketplaces has plummeted over the past 30 days, with 6 of the top 10 seeing a decrease by 40% or more.
In that period, OpenSea has experienced a 43.1% decline in sales volume to $491.15 million and a 40.72% drop in average sales price to $252.92.
News of the layoffs marks a dramatic change in fortune for the popular NFT marketplace, which back in January announced that it had raised $300 million in a Series C funding round led by crypto-focused venture capital firm Paradigm and global investment manager Coatue.
OpenSea also boasted a valuation of $13.3 billion at the time, and currently no updated figure is available.
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