Data analytics startups, hit hard by COVID-19, are cutting their workforces to stay afloat

Derek Steer, CEO of Mode. Via TechCrunch
  •  In just over a week, three different analytics startups companies have made cuts to their rosters as they deal with the financial turbulence of the coronavirus crisis. 
  • Mode said it had terminated 17 employees.
  • Mixpanel said earlier this week it had cut 65 employees, almost a fifth of its workforce, in order to stay afloat.
  • Segment, most recently valued at $1.5 billion, said it had fired a little over 50 employees, 10% of its total workforce.

Data analytics startups are on the chopping block. In just over a week, three different analytics companies— Mixpanel, Segment and Mode— have announced cuts to their workforce as they adjust to the economic ravages of COVID-19..

“My top priority is to take care of our colleagues and friends who are leaving,” Mode CEO Derek Steer wrote on LinkedIn Thursday after announcing the company had fired 17 workers.

The San Francisco-based company provides a platform that makes it easier for clients like Shopify to analyze their data internally. It was founded in 2013 by  Derek Steer, Josh Ferguson, and Benn Stancil, who wanted to make software “built by analysts for analysts.” 

Mixpanel, another San Francisco-based company, said Tuesday it had cut 65 employees, 19% of its workforce, to stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis.

“We are a 10-year-old company, so have weathered our share of ups and downs,” Amir Movafaghi, CEO of Mixpanel, told the San Francisco Business Times. “Still, given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we will be ensuring the long-term sustainability of Mixpanel with this difficult decision.”

The startup, which claims high-profile customers like Uber, Expedia and TV network Starz, makes a platform that lets businesses analyze customer data. The company was valued at $865 million in 2016 by venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz. 

Industry unicorn Segment, a data analytics company most recently valued at $1.5 billion, told Business Insider last week that it had terminated a little over 50 jobs, 10% of its total staff, as it adjusted to the economic turbulence brought on by the coronavirus crisis.

CEO Peter Reinhardt told Business Insider the company would restructure to provide products for the “new socially-distanced world.”

“”Balancing these goals in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic while making sure that we’re well-resourced for the next few years has meant that we had to make the difficult choice of reducing the size of our team and restructuring our organization for this new all-digital world,” Reinhardt said.”

The company, an upstart competitor to giants like Oracle and Salesforce that aims to offer more complete customer data services, told Business Insider in 2019 that it had  19,000 customers.


These companies are not alone. The few months have been brutal to the tech startup industry as the coronavirus outbreak devastates the US economy. Hundreds of startups have laid off a total of 49,359 employees since March 11 according to layoffs.fyi, a website that tracks tech industry firings.