Gaming-centric instant messaging and VoIP social platform Discord has laid off 17% of its global workforce, or roughly 170 employees, on Thursday, according to a report from The Verge. The news was delivered to employees in an email from Discord CEO Jason Citron on Thursday. These latest cuts follow a round in August of last year that saw approximately 4% of staff let go.
While Citron says a lot about the “why” of these layoffs, the gist of it is summed up succinctly in this paragraph:
“We grew quickly and expanded our workforce even faster, increasing by 5x since 2020. As a result, we took on more projects and became less efficient in how we operated.”
In his email to staff, Citron added that affected employees will receive five months of salary (and an additional week of pay for every full year at the company), five months of benefits, three months of “outplacement services,” equity vesting of awards scheduled to vest on Feb. 1, continued access to health care benefits through the end of 2024, and other help and assistance.
According to sources who spoke to The Verge, Discord still has around $700M USD in cash from the $1B in investments it has raised on its balance sheet, and still plans to go public at some point – an option it has been pondering for several years following the $12B offer Microsoft made to acquire the company in 2021. Plans for an IPO won’t happen anytime soon, according to those same sources.
The layoffs at Discord follow much larger staff cuts this week at Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch (around 1,700 employees) and its Amazon Prime division (around 100 employees), as well as cuts at Google (around 1,000 employees).