Teen social messaging app IRL lays off 25% of workforce

SoftBank-backed social messaging unicorn IRL (In Real Life) which is very popular among the teenagers in the US, has announced to lay off 25 per cent of its team citing market dynamics.

In a memo to employees, IRL CEO and co-founder Abraham Shafi said that “we have all seen the state of the market.”

“The world is going through a collective struggle of inflation, higher cost of goods, layoffs, school shootings, and many experiencing loneliness and depression,” said Shafi.

“Exercising discipline and adaptation to our current environment means moving from a 100-person team to a 75-person team,” he wrote.

The company, which raised $170 million in Series C led by SoftBank valuing the company at $1.1 billion last year, said that it has “more than enough cash to last well in 2024”.

“Now is the time to be offensive, diligent, and proactive. Whatsapp was able to grow to 450 million users with a team of 55. I am inspired by that and I believe we will forge our own amazing story with a small but incredibly amazing team,” Shafi said.

IRL was founded in 2017. It last reported 20 million registered users, with 400 per cent growth over a 15-month period.

“We have all seen the state of the market. It is the worst since 2007-2008, but this is not a time to panic. Instead, this is a time to make the most of constraints,” said the IRL CEO.

The app had previously raised nearly $30 million from investors including Founder’s Fund, Goodwater Capital and Floodgate Fund.




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