Flurry of SoftBank-backed companies laying off staff as WeWork fallout bites

Telegraph 09 Jan 2020 11:10

A number of start-ups backed by SoftBank have laid off hundreds of staff this week as the Japanese technology conglomerate dials up its efforts to stem losses in the wake of its WeWork woes

San Francisco-based robotic pizza maker Zume, which has been valued at $2bn (£1.5bn) having been backed by SoftBank Group and its $100bn Vision Fund, is slashing its workforce in half, with 360 employees preparing to lose their jobs.

Alex Garden, co-founder and chief executive of Zume, said in a note to staff that the start-up would be discontinuing its robotic pizza delivery service as it turns its attention to sustainable packaging. 

“After much discussion with leadership, our board and our investors, we have a clear path to provide what the market wants and what the world needs – a more sustainable food future,” he said. 

Meanwhile Silicon Valley’s Getaround, a car sharing start-up backed by SoftBank, announced earlier this week that it was cutting 150 employees. The company’s mission is to “solve car overpopulation and empower people to carshare everywhere". 

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